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Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Could we be too politically correct?

Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Put this on the list of things I simply don't understand.

Police in Los Angeles had strong suspicion that a woman traveling to New Jersey was carrying drugs. The suspect had purchased her airline ticket from a known drug source and information was abundant that she was a drug courier. LA police alerted authorities that an Hispanic woman was headed their way.

Well sure enough, police searched the suspect's luggage in New Jersey and found 47 pounds of marijuana. But here's the rub. Knowing little else, police used the only information available, i.e. she was Hispanic and was on a certain flight.

When the case came to court, the woman cried "racial profiling" and a court dismissed the charges. Fortunately, a higher court this week reinstated the charges despite the "racial profiling" accusations.

So what don't I understand? If police have limited information on a drug suspect, why is it wrong to use whatever information even if it's only to identify the suspect's race? Granted, police would have had an easier task perhaps if they had other details but what they had was enough to take a drug dealer or courier off the streets.

Are we so politically correct and so sensitive that we let common sense evaporate? Civil rights should always be of premiere concern but law enforcement too must protect the general interests of the population and this case clearly illustrates why.

One judge said police used race alone in searching her. Well duh! That's the totality of the information they had available. Should that then be ignored out of fear of offending someone? Not in my mind and thankfully, not in the minds of the higher court.

When sensitivity prevails over common sense, we all lose.



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