The most recent contribution to racial harmony comes from Charlottesville, Virginia, where the Washington Post reports that some people are alarmed at “racial profiling” by local cops in their efforts to catch a black serial rapist. [‘DNA Dragnet’ Makes Charlottesville Uneasy, By Maria Glod, April 14, 2004]
Thanks to the foes of “racism,” the rapist may remain free to rape again.
The situation is that since 1997 an unknown black male has committed at least six rapes in the city, famous as the home of the University of Virginia, in one case, as the Post described it last week, beating his female victim “so badly that she needed reconstructive surgery.”The police know he’s black because the victims have described him as black. Also they have his DNA. That’s the problem.
It’s not clear if the Charlottesville police have had the rapist’s DNA analyzed to confirm his race, as police in Baton Rouge, La., did last year. In Baton Rouge, after months of looking for a white man as the perpetrator of a series of murders, the cops had a geneticist examine the killer’s DNA from crime scenes and realized he was in fact black. They nabbed a suspect shortly after.
In Charlottesville, the police already know the rapist is black; they just don’t know which black. Therefore, they’ve compiled a little list of black males who are believed to resemble a sketch of the rapist and who are suspects for other reasons. They then approach these gentlemen and ask them for DNA samples. If they comply, as 197 have, then they’re ruled out as suspects.
The problem, you see, is that this procedure is “racial profiling.”
Actually it’s not. Racial profiling usually means stopping, arresting or otherwise throwing suspicion upon members of a racial group simply because of the statistical patterns of behavior of that group. If the police were stopping black males in Charlottesville because black males commit most of the rapes in the United States, that would be racial profiling.
But that’s not what they’re doing in Charlottesville.
As Charlottesville police chief Timothy Longo explained to the Post, the cops are not stopping black males at random. They already know the rapist is black from victims’ descriptions, and asking only black males for DNA samples is therefore reasonable:
“In most cases, he said, police are responding to reports from residents about men who resemble a composite sketch of the suspect or who seem to be acting strangely.”
Nevertheless, the progressive set at the local university has decided it just can’t stand the prospect of the cops taking what one of them called “a step backward” by actually doing something that might catch the rapist—especially, one of them sobbed to the Post, “in a place where the echoes of slavery and segregation can still be heard.”
The rapist remains free.
One black man who was approached to give a DNA sample and refused has plenty to say about how oppressed it made him feel. “The way the police are conducting this investigation, because the suspect is a black man, every black man is a suspect,” moaned Steven Turner, a graduate student in education.
A police car stopped him while he was riding a bicycle last summer and asked him for a DNA sample from a swab inside his mouth. They told him someone had reported he was acting suspiciously and that he resembled the sketch of the rapist.
In other words, they were not stopping him because “every black man is a suspect.” They stopped him because he was a suspect.
Mr. Turner refused to give them a sample, but “after the police left, Turner said, he rode around in circles for a long time. ‘I felt broken,’ he said. ‘I felt like I didn’t have a home anymore. It was devastating.'”
Is that so?
The progressive set in Charlottesville has made one of their usual contributions to human progress.
By creating a fake controversy about a perfectly sensible, harmless and scientifically based method of criminal investigation, they have managed to impede the police and help the unknown rapist to remain at large.
They may also have helped establish a precedent that other police departments in other cities will think about when rapists, murderers and other criminals commit crimes in their jurisdictions.
And because of the fear for their careers they are able to inspire in police and other public officials, they may have helped destroy permanently the effectiveness of DNA testing as a tool of law enforcement.