Profiling

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Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A shopper at a Roseville liquor store was upset that store management wanted to check her large bag. She was at the store on Sunday with about a dozen people, picketing, signs saying “MGM Racist” and “Treat Everyone Equally.”

Maryam S., the person who complained on YELP on 7-1-17, says MGM never checks anybody’s bags. That’s how she knows she was singled out. Scroll past a few Fake Reviews by Social Justice Warriors from places like Arlington, Virginia and Apple Valley (who obviously never shop there), you find a review from Gnos G. dated six weeks before the complaint, another Asian whose bags got searched.

Maryam says when she called the owner, she was told that searching bags is carefully limited to people whose conduct is suspicious. The owner pointed out that historically, most shoplifting in that store has been done by Black shoppers.

In other words, you were not singled out to be searched, Maryam, because searching bags has been store policy for weeks (and that sign has been on the door for years – I know because that’s my regular liquor store). And you were not profiled for being Asian, they check Black people’s bags, too.

Searching large bags in a store is not racism. It’s loss prevention. If you worked in retail instead of being an Emergency Room Doctor at St. John’s Hospital, you’d know that. I realize it’s jarring to suddenly find yourself being treated unfairly because of what other people have done in the past. Believe me, I know exactly how that feels.

I am constantly berated for having White Privilege. The fact that long ago and far away some White people mistreated some Black people doesn’t mean that THIS White person has mistreated any Black people. I never owned any slaves, no Black person living in Minnesota today toted any bales of cotton, so using the same logic as Maryam’s example, I shouldn’t have to hear another damn word about White Privilege.

What’s that you say? Embedded in the culture? Indirect beneficiary of other people’s crimes? Guilt by association? Racial stereotypes? That door swings both ways, too. Identity politics paints everyone with broad brushes.

It’s all fine and good to mouth Liberal platitudes about justice and equality and vestiges of institutional oppression. But when it comes right down to the bottom line, shoplifting is a crime and loss prevention is the solution. Leave your backpack in the car next time.

Joe Doakes

I’m verging on just about done for apologizing for my skin color.


“What about our lives? Who protects us from the people who are supposed to protect us?”

The question is from Tonya Jameson, a black kid who was held at gunpoint by an off-duty cop when he was changing a license plate on a car that he’d bought from the cop’s mother in law.

And he asks a very legitimate question: why should we, the citizens, have to de-escalate our police?

Jameson expresses polite disagreement with the police chief, who explained to him why the officer’s actions were, inevitably, found to be perfectly lawful:

Chief Rausch said that when investigating complaints, it is essential to understand an officer’s mindset to determine the facts. A mindset is not a fact.

Here are the facts that Janish appeared to focus on – the unmarked cab, a black person, the duffel bag and the license plate.

Then here are other facts that he ignored – he knew his mother-in-law was selling the car, it was broad daylight, and I knew her first name, but not her last name. I offered to show him the keys, registration and bill of sale signed by his mother-in-law.

Those are the actual facts. Officer Janish’s mindset was the scenario he created in his head. His fears weren’t facts.

The law cuts a very wide swathe of tolerance for cops’ “mindsets”. Technically, so does all “use of force” law.

But part of cops’ “Mindsets” these days is constant exposure to the idea that violent death awaits around every corner; that every stop could be their last; that their first, last or next contact with the public could end up like this:

Sobering – and dangerous.

If we’re to the point that we The People need to deal with cops more carefully than we do criminals, we’ve got a big problem, here.