Saturday, July 25, 2009

Police Mentality and Professor Gates' Arrest

The debate is still raging on about Professor's Gates arrest in his own home. This is what I picked up from a CNN's commentary by Maria Herbefeld, a professor of Police Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in NY City:

"Police work is about sub-cultural contexts, about war stories, about suspicion, about unpredictability, about danger and fear for one's life. Police officers make their decisions based not just on a given situation but also based on their prior experience, the experience of those they have worked with and the stories they have heard about incidents that happened in the past."

I'm just wondering - given the above observation, isn't it safe to assume that some of those police "prior experiences" leads to some racial biasness, going as far as assuming that any black man is dangerous?

I'm posing that question because if a police officer is not making a judgment based on facts at hand but some prior experiences and stories they hear, what's preventing them from excercising racial biasness or any other form of biasness?
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Anonymous said...

I agree with the officer's observation, however based on the grounds of the incident and the facts provided, I am positively convinced that there were no racial profiling in this situation. Yes the law enforcement officers sometimes would assess and handle the situation based on precedents, this also works in the courts of law at the ruling.

Anonymous said...

Prof na mr presidaa walichemsha!

Anonymous said...

Color issues are very much alive, but we should give the world thumbs up for the big step of electing mr Obama.