Skip to comments.Racial profiling: We’re used to being treated suspiciously
Posted on 05/29/2012 7:07:51 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
These students from South L.A. say people often assume they're doing something wrong based on their race.
In April 2012, neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was arrested in the Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old unarmed black teenager, in Florida. Zimmerman saw Trayvon walking through his gated community, followed him and shot him. He claims it was in self-defense after Trayvon attacked him. In March, two Pasadena police officers shot and killed Kendrec McDade, an unarmed 19-year-old black college student. Police were responding to a 911 call in which the victim said he was robbed at gunpoint, but he lied about the suspects having a gun. After discussing these cases, we talked to a group of Jefferson High students from South L.A. about how theyre treated by authorities and if they feel they get profiled because of their race.
L.A. Youth writers share their experiences with profiling someone or having been profiled.
L.A. Youth Editor Mike Fricano: Have you been treated suspiciously?
Daisy Aguila, 16: My classmate went to Malibu to a restaurant with his parents. Hes Mexican and they eyed him from head to toe. He didnt feel comfortable.
Jose Estrada, 16: I walked in the liquor store. I was looking around for chips and the guy, he was just like staring at wherever I was going. I guess he thought I was going to steal something. And I just got chips and he just kept looking at me til I left.
Frannette Tolon, 18: One of the people in my [class said] she and her friends were walking down the street. It was late at night and they all got stopped because [the cops] thought they were selling drugs. They got frisked. They were basically stopped because they looked a certain way when they werent doing nothing, just enjoying the evening.
L.A. Youth Editor Amanda Riddle: How did you feel when you heard that story?
Frannette: It felt like it was something common, like what I deal with in my neighborhood. I live close to gangs and drug dealers, so they stop everyone, everyday, to see if they got drugs on them or a weapon or something.
Mike: Why do you think its important that people talk about this?
Cyril Diego, 17: Because stuff like this happens every day and it doesnt get out on the news. So its something that needs to be let out to show everybody this is not just happening to you, its happening to everybody around you.
Mike: Has anyone ever talked to you about how you should behave if you run into the cops?
Frannette: My parents, they tell me if I see police, avoid them at all times. But if they do say come here, just be civilized. Dont get aggressive or out of hand because then you will be in the back of a police car.
Jose: Be polite to them.
Cyril: They say respond respectfully. But if they jump out the car, tell you to put your hands behind your back, but Im walking home and I have a backpack, and they feel thats suspicious because they probably think Im walking from my homies house or I probably have a gun in my backpack. So, how I respond to that is, Why you gonna stop me? Im coming from school.
Mike: Has that happened to you?
Mike: How many times?
Cyril: I dont know. So much I cant even count. Its what happens every day so its basically something thats a part of my life.
Mike: George Zimmerman said Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie and had something in his hands and it was dark so he thought that was somebody who might be dangerous. So how would you define suspicious?
Daisy: If you see a couple of guys in suits and then you see another couple guys in baggy clothes, who are you going to look at for trouble? We all know our neighborhood, we all know the gangs and its not the same thing. So youll probably think that the guys in suits are doing something. But if you have a white person come in here, in this neighborhood, of course theyre going to look at the guys with the baggy clothes, thinking that they look suspicious.
Mike: Can girls be suspicious?
Frannette: Yeah. They look innocent sometimes but they do stuff too.
Jocelyne: Sometimes, even if youre not dressed appropriately or inappropriately, you can still be suspicious. Just going really close to a person, they might think, Oh, theyre trying to do something bad to me.
Mike: How would you describe a suspicious walk?
Cyril: Walking fast, looking around every minute to see whos around you or whos behind you and whos watching.
Amanda: Zimmerman claims that he saw Trayvon walking and looking around.
Frannette: Well he was probably nervous; it was late at night. Everybody gets nervous walking home because anybody could come up behind you and shoot you like he did. Somebody could stab you or rob you. Of course youre gonna look around and see whos coming behind you.
Mike: In the liquor store example, you were there to buy chips but how might the owner define a suspicious person?
Jose: He probably had other experiences; people actually stealing something. Thats what he probably thought I was doing.
Mike: Why do you think he may have thought you were more likely to be someone who would steal? Do you think it had to do with the fact that youre a teenager?
Jose: Yeah, a little.
Mike: And maybe because youre a boy. Like if you were an 80-year-old woman, do you think he would have given you that look?
Jose: No, I doubt it.
Mike: How do you think the cops see you versus how you see yourself?
Frannette: Theyre probably like, OK, thats a black girl. Im gonna have to go stop her. Shes in a gang-affiliated neighborhood so shes probably gang affiliated. I do live in a gang-affiliated [neighborhood] but it dont mean Im part of a gang. They shouldnt judge everybody by how they look because half the time theyre wrong.
Jocelyne: I guess when they see me, as a teenager, the first thing they probably think is, Shes probably a troublemaker. She probably has a lot of tickets, a bad record, that shes not gonna do nothing good with her life.
Mike: Is it just because of your age?
Jocelyne: No, its because of the neighborhood. The neighborhood has a reputation and they think everybodys going to live up to it. Like everybodys going to be a gangbanger and they are always gonna do drugs. A lot of people want to do other things with their life.
Mike: Given that this country is founded on a presumption of innocence, its discouraging to hear that you feel like when the cops pass by you, theyre presuming you are guilty of something.
Daisy: But not everybodys innocent though.
Jose: I think that police should stop having assumptions. Stop assuming that just because youre walking at a time of the night or walking a certain way or looking at something different, they should stop you. Because youre regular people just like they are.
If it walks like a duck, dresses like a duck and lives in a ducks neighborhood ... what are people to think?
Get the TSA on this one. They’ll come through.
White people are getting used to being called racists.
Being male is to be profiled, and none of us or females, complain.
They perpetuate their own stereotypes by their own actions. Whaddaya expect?
Let’s see maybe you are correct and the majority misjudge you, when you are 12% of the population and commit 75% of the crimes is no reason to jump to conclusions I guess.
BS. My wife is Mexican and I’ve never seen her treated any differently than anyone else. Victimhood is the holy grail of liberalism.
Still trying to pimp the media’s version of “Zimmerman saw Trayvon walking through his gated community, followed him and shot him.” story line.
If these LA yutes intend to be so ill informed, nothing can help them.
Blacks face the worst kind of racism, it is call empirical racism. Good example of it was in Philadelphia. A local black activist reporter decided to cover a story about Philadelphia cab drivers refusing to pick up young black men. He arrived at a local gathering place for cab drivers before they drive out and spotted a white cab driver. Immediately he interviewed him and got him to admit he does not pick up black men in certain areas. The black reporter immediately berated the white driver for profiling and racism before another cab driver told him to shut up. Turning around he was surprised the cab driver who told him to be quiet was a black driver and behind him was a group of black cab drivers. The black cab driver was from Jamaica and he also was a leader for the drivers. He immediately educated the reporter on the stats his drivers faced and how many of them have been shot, robbed or stiffed by mainly young black men who wave for a cab. He explained that it was not racism but street experience that all his cab drivers (many of them black) refuse to pick up young black men dressed in a certain way from certain areas of town. Piping in was black limo drivers who explain to the reporter that they face the same problem when called to provide services in black areas and how many of them have been ambushed or worst killed. Racism based on experience is worst then racism based on ignorance because ignorance can be erased by education, but how do you tell someone to ignore real life and death experience and risk everything by being PC?
wow, Thanks for sharing that story. It just makes me sad.
People that racial profile live longer.
Thank you for your insight. My sonIL is of Mexican decent. He seriously sees discrimination everywhere. We will come home from somewhere and he will say “did you notice that?” I really think it is his attitude. And we are thinking “WTH are you talking about?” His mother did her job well.
Your statement “Victimhood is the holy grail of liberalism.” is brilliant.
If white people were between 6.5 and 7.2x more likely to commit murder than blacks, I think white people would be obligated to examine and mitigate their predisposition to violence.
A 911 caller (Carrillo) told police that he'd been robbed at gunpoint: "a videotape shot near a taco truck where the alleged theft occurred shows a 17-year-old reaching into Carrillos car and allegedly grabbing both a backpack and a laptop computer. McDade acted as a 'lookout' during the alleged burglary, [the police] said."
It's no excuse for the police to shoot the kid but they were told he had a gun and his reaction made the policemen think that we was going for his gun as they closed in on him.
Now Carrillo is being charged.
Thanks Vet, for continuing to diligently post the Trayvon-Zimmerman news stories. :-)
Chris Rock: How not to get your @ss Kicked by the Police:
I rachel profile all the time. Everytime I see a butch women I think of racheal Madcow.
Hey is anyone aware that Madcow wrote a book?
Probably not you homophobes.
But I digress.
You “good” black and hispanic kids can blame the caution with which whitey regards you on the behavior of others who look like you but don’t care to act civilized.
funny how I don’t hear blacks and hispanics complaining they are being “racially profiled” when college admissions add points to their SATS and GPAS because of their race.
And I don’t see blacks and hispanics complaining they are being racially profiled when they are given preferential treatment with government contracts and government hiring.
Looks like some want to have their cake and eat it too.
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