- Doug Glanville shares a personal story about being profiled at his own home
Doug Glanville, who has done a lot of writing since his retirement from Major League Baseball, including a book and frequent guest columns for the New York Times, shared a personal story of his own profiling experience. The story isn’t that of threats or great harm, rather of the quiet, and all too commonplace, oppression of racial stereotyping.
Connecticut, and Hartford in particular, have a reputation of racial division, but such examples are hardly limited to there. These things happen all the time, and most people are not rich athletes with attorney wives and neighbors. This situations predicate a lot of criminal charges, and many more circumstances do not even make it to criminal court.
I think it’s great that Mr. Glanville seeks to use this as an opportunity to create dialogue. He points out, “As an article in the April issue of The Atlantic points out, these practices have “side effects.” They may help police find illegal drugs and guns, but they also disenfranchise untold numbers of people, making them feel like suspects … all of the time.” I thought back to the recent LCSO story where a black man got his phone temporarily taken, and the reason he had it out was because he felt he was being harassed. He was also a black man who, even if his rights weren’t overstepped, probably has lost some faith in law enforcement. That is a detriment to law enforcement everywhere: the collective perception of bias and discrimination.
Please share Mr. Glanville’s story, and promote the dialogue whenever you can.
I got hooked on “The Good Wife” last year, and have started going back through season 1 on DVD. I have discussed Sunday’s episode earlier this week, for the Overzealous Police Seizure aspect of the story line. Now that I have seen the episode, I can report that there are several criminal law issues of interest that they dealt with. Among those most interesting: false K-9 alerts, profiling, recording police encounters, and of course the seizure issues that I’ve already talked about. Most cases don’t have all of these issues rolled into the same case, but each of these issues come up all the time.
For now, check out the episode, and I will try to follow-up with the other issues in the future. Until then, just consider the first encounter they have with the overzealous cop. The cop stops them for an imagined infraction, and detains them long enough that Alicia misses an important meeting. Without even getting into all the other problems with the situation, imagine if it was you missing an important work meeting because a cop felt like giving you a hard time. It’s happened to me, and I’m not even in a class that is frequently profiled. It can happen to you.
Also, how frustrating would it be for a cop to lie about the reason for a stop. It’s one of the “white lie” variety that cops do all the time. No biggie, until it happens to you. I just had a client in my office who was horribly frustrated not that he got a ticket, but that the cop lied about the pretext of his stop. The courts allow this kind of pretextual stop, and doing so practically encourages our law enforcement to lie. There’s a famous case called “Whren” that says it doesn’t matter why the cops pull someone over, no matter what motive, as long as they provide the court with any valid reason for the stop. It leads to innumerable profiling situations like the one depicted in “The Good Wife”.