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Summer 2001 Banner 10000140
brought to you by: EspreeNet News Service
 
Published July 23, 2002

What Up With The Truth - A Look at Racial Profiling


EspreeNet News Service



Syracuse (ENet News) - This city is in denial but who is surprised. Many of you reading this article are former Syracuse residents and you know what made you leave this area. In most cases its opportunity, but in the words of prince "there's something else".

You can see progress in other cities because of the changing faces of the political leaders and the business community.

Not here!

Yes, some of the faces have changed but it's the same old story. Who's fooling who. Some folks just don't get it. Recently the police department released statistics on data collected over the last couple of months, related to traffic stops and tickets.

What they are not saying is, this study was not done because they wanted to deal with the issue of racial profiling. It was done because it came down from federal and it's being done across the country.

Now that you know the motivation, you can understand why some officials are worried about the numbers. Lets look at them.

54% of the people involved in all traffic stops made in January and February were black. 93.6% of all loitering tickets issued in the last 5 years were given to blacks (African-Americans), according to the Syracuse Post Standard.

Again, who's surprised.

The day after this information was released, the damage control began.

Seven city common councilors had a press conference on the steps of city hall saying that this could give Syracuse a national reputation as a city with a racial profiling problem. Now for the record two Councilors were not there (Mahoney and Minor) also the president of the council (Gonzalez) did not participate.

Now for those in attendance including the Mayor, there is a racial problem here so there may be a racial profiling problem.

This article would be an eight part series if it covered economic development, hiring practices, school issues, harassment concerns and overall fairness/consideration questions about this city and county as they relate to black people.

So it won't be cover, right now.

Just remember this, 60 minutes did a report on people being tortured and beaten in the public safety building quite a few years ago and sheriff John Dillon said "I know it's illegal" but you don't understand why we do it. He said that on national TV and nobody politically said lets ask him to step down.

Instead, they wanted to know why he said it. The seven councilors, the mayor and the police chief are saying the same thing, lets not use the numbers as proof, lets study why the came out that way.

No matter how hard you look, the numbers won't change. Half empty, half full, too much or not enough are perspectives but the truth is clear there is a problem and denial won't solve it.



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