Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Central Park and Racial Profiling
By Nicholas Stix

November, 2000
Middle American News

Carefully leaking through The New York Times, in early October, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White's office indicted the New York City Police Department for pervasive "racial profiling" of minorities. Reportedly as part of "negotiations" by Janet Reno's Justice Department to "monitor" the NYPD, White's office mindlessly repeated an unfounded report released on June 16, 2000, by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, chaired by Mary Frances Berry. Although Berry's "investigators" did not bother collecting evidence, she had felt emboldened to call for federal monitoring, i.e., a take-over, of the department.

On October 6, Republican New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani responded, "The whole idea of racial profiling in the New York City Police Department is absurd ... and we're more than willing to defend it in court, anyplace, anytime, anywhere." To which the Rev. Al Sharpton countered, "There is something sick and dangerous about a mayor that would sit looking facts in the face and tell you that the facts don't exist."

Since the tragic shooting of Guinean immigrant Amadou Diallo on February 4, 1998, the mainstream media have devoted thousands of stories to "racial profiling," based on the unquestioned assumption, shared by the media and Mary Frances Berry alike, that the Diallo case was one of racial profiling, i.e., a police lynching. Berry, the media, et al., conveniently ignored the fact that the NYPD officers who shot Diallo were hunting for his neighbor, the "Bronx Rapist," who resembled Diallo. Isaac Jones, the worst serial rapist in the city's history, later confessed to over thirty sexual attacks on women, and was sentenced to over 200 years in prison in his first trial alone.

And how do those charging racial profiling explain what happened in Central Park on Sunday, June 11, just five days before the release of the Commission's report? I am referring to the daylight sexual attacks on 53 women carried out by a mob of over thirty young men, the majority of whom were black (the rest were Hispanic), in front of thousands of witnesses, during and after the annual Puerto Rican Day parade.

We only know about the attacks, because dozens of passersby filmed them, and sent their videotapes to local TV news operations. No video, no crime -- witnesses be damned.

If black and Hispanic men live in constant fear of being rounded up or shot by racist, white police officers, how could so many of them run fearlessly through the park, assaulting women with abandon, despite 4,000 police nearby on parade duty? And how does a department characterized by racist, "excessive force," suddenly turn pacifist?

Not surprisingly, the media and the Justice Department alike ignored such questions.

In the days following the parade, dozens of veteran NYPD officers responded to scathing criticisms of the police by complaining that they had been handcuffed in doing their job by a long-entrenched racial double-standard at black and Hispanic ethnic parades.

Reporters at the Daily News alone interviewed some 28 NYPD officers. Speaking under condition of anonymity, the officers all maintained that, in the interest of avoiding confrontations with "minorities," in contrast to the zero-tolerance enforcement at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, "a softer tone has been taken at ethnic events like the National Puerto Rican Day and the West Indian Day parades, where public drinking and marijuana smoking produce more warnings than arrests."

So much for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's war on "quality-of-life" crimes and minorities.

There was just one flaw in the story's reporting: Racial double-standards in law enforcement have been in effect in New York City, EVERY day, for years.

In January, 1991, when a black and Hispanic gang singled me out on a packed, virtually white-free, Brooklyn-bound subway train for an assault and attempted robbery, a Transit Police detective acknowledged that the attack was racially motivated, and thus a "bias crime." The detective reported that such racial attacks on whites happened every single day in New York, "but there are some things you can't say," due to the political climate.

Since then, mayors and police commissioners' fear of offending racist blacks, and need to show businessmen and tourists that New York is safe, have converged to give us a revolution, not in the FIGHTING, but in the REPORTING of crime.

After one of at least nine 1990s' racial assaults and attempted muggings I (more or less) fought off, a white transit sergeant told me, "You fit the profile." He mentioned that I was short and bespectacled, but left out the most important factor, my race.

But officially, none of the aforementioned crimes took place. Bloody stab wounds and corroborating witnesses notwithstanding, eventually all of the cases were "disappeared."

Between 1995 and 1998, a series of scandals uncovered by reporters William Rashbaum of the Daily News(now with The New York Times) and Leonard Levitt of Newsday, respectively, showed street cops being instructed to define down violent felonies into misdemeanors or non-crimes, and police failing to report numerous serious felonies (first-degree rape and homicide).

One such crime occurred on December 8, 1995, when a black man on the Queens-bound A train I was riding, was shot at point-blank range. I saw the lifeless-looking victim on a gurney, and counted 39 officers at the crime scene. NYPD spokeswoman, Officer Kathy Kelly, later insisted to me, "There's no shootings on the eighth."

If the NYPD is "disappearing" thousands of violent felonies per year, minorities, who make up 50 percent of the city's population, but who officially commit 89.2 percent of its violent crimes, are disproportionately benefiting from the undercounting. And yet, blacks complain constantly of "racial profiling."

The blacks charging racial profiling see black criminals as allies in a race war against whites. Media reports that mindlessly repeat such charges intimidate the police out of doing their job, which in turn empowers black felons. Which is the point.

As black claims of racial profiling have gone national, so too has the problem of fraudulent police crime counts. The FBI has long refused to recognize official crime figures from Boca Raton, Florida; in September, the Bureau reported that in 1998, the Philadelphia Police Department engaged in a massive underreporting of felonies.

New York's scandals culminated in January, 1998, when NYPD Transit Bureau Chief Kenneth Donoghue was caught fudging subway crime statistics, and forced to resign. Less than one month later, Amadou Diallo lay dead in his building doorway.

The New York media immediately forgot all about fudged crime statistics, and switched to unfounded stories about "racial profiling." After all, reporting both stories simultaneously would have opened up a credibility gap as big as Yankee Stadium.

Let us now return to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Although Chairwoman Mary Frances Berry had earlier written of her undying hatred of all white police officers, and been exposed as a contributor to Hillary Clinton's senate campaign, she refused to recuse herself. Berry's report saw the mere statistical frequency of arrest and "stop-and-frisk" rates for black and Hispanic males as "evidence" of racial profiling by white police officers, rather than as the raw data that it was. Mary Frances Berry was initially permitted to convene her political kangaroo court, in order to help Hillary Clinton get black votes in her Senate race; the Justice Department is now giving Berry's racist fantasies the power of precedent, in order to help the Gore-Lieberman ticket, as well.

Does racial profiling exist in New York City? Of course, it does -- the racial profiling of whites.

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