Officer Tom Jones is patrolling the north end of his assigned sector in anytown U.S.A. A call comes over the radio:
'All cars be on the lookout for a dark, late model auto driven by two black males wanted for the murder of a security guard during a holdup of the First National Bank on the south end of town. The men are armed with handguns and extremely dangerous.'
Officer Jones picks up the radio:
'This is sector Charley; I'm stopping my vehicle at the north end of Baker Street in case the duo head this way toward the Interstate.'
After the radio car is parked at a strategic location, the officer begins observing the traffic heading his way. He notices a yellow car driven by two white males and he dismisses it. Next, he sees a red car occupied by a black man and a black woman. He continues his vigil as the car passes by. A third car heads toward him and he notices 2 black males in a dark blue 2002 Pontiac. As it passes by his location, he puts on his roof lights and siren and begins pursuit, while calling in his observations to the dispatcher on the car phone.
Given this scenario, the question some people might ask is: Was this officer engaging in profiling by pursuing that vehicle?
Perhaps he should have stopped every vehicle. Consider the following:
Officer: 'Were you in the vicinity of the First national Bank a few minutes ago?'
Woman driver: 'No, officer. Why?'
Officer: 'Two black men held up the bank, killed a guard and fled in a dark auto.'
Woman, looking incredulous: 'And that's the reason you stopped me?'
Officer: 'Sorry, Ma'am, I'm just being fair. We're not allowed to engage in profiling.'
In other words, as mind—boggling as it seems, a police officer is not allowed to use the basic common sense and experience he has gained during years of investigation. Fearing punishment from a politically correct constabulary, the officer must abandon his knowledge of the job and his instinct for nabbing the culprits in order to satisfy the latest hair—brained philosophy being imposed upon law enforcement by the lunatic leftist fringe.
When a cop obtains a 'profile' of someone wanted for questioning in a crime, he embarks on a quest to find that person. If he didn't, what good would he be to the public he serves? Why should we pay his salary if he's going to be easily intimidated every time a new buzzword is invented to make his job more complicated?
When you are in imminent danger, you pray for a cop to show up. Why? Because he or she will put him or herself between you and the peril you're facing, and if necessary, sacrifice his life for yours. Additionally, after an arrest is made, cops have to put up with a lot of ludicrous courtroom tactics designed to confuse a jury, make the cop look like a bigot, and supply the accused with a rapid get out of jail card.
Defense attorney: 'Officer, you saw two black men in a dark car and you stopped them and searched their vehicle. Is that correct?'
Officer: 'Yes, they matched the only information I had to go on.'
Attorney: 'Officer, do you know how many black men drive dark autos in this city? Would you like to take a guess?'
Officer: 'I don't know. Thousands I suppose.'
Attorney: 'That's right, several thousands. Did you intend to stop every car in the city being driven by black men?'
Officer: 'No, counselor, just the cars that fit the description I was given that included two black men as occupants.'
Attorney: 'I see. So in other words, white people had nothing to worry about that night because you were not going to bother them, However, every black man out for a ride was going to be subjected to an order to pull over and have his car searched. Isn't that true?'
Officer: 'Sir, I was searching for two black men so why would I stop vehicles being driven by white men?'
Attorney: 'Aha! Then you admit you were engaging in profiling?'
And so goes the bizarre reasoning that makes police work more difficult and dangerous, not only for those paid to take the risks but also for the citizens they're sworn to protect. Investigations, based on information supplied by witnesses, have always been considered essential in police work. Not anymore. In this topsy—turvy world, where a day doesn't go by in which a child isn't snatched from her bed at night or whisked off the street in broad daylight, where drugs are being pushed on our children at school and illegal aliens are plotting the destruction of our way of life, one of the most pressing concerns in the national spotlight is, should we allow police officers to stop and question possible suspects?
Security, like freedom, is not free; sometimes you have to put up with inconvenience to insure a level of safety for everyone.
Bob Weir is a former detective sergeant in the New York City policy department. He is the editor of The News Connection in Highland Village, Texas. BobWeir777@aol.com