Simple Advice for Police: Just Stay Politically Correct

By Reed, Fred | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 10, 2000 | Go to article overview

Simple Advice for Police: Just Stay Politically Correct


Reed, Fred, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


The police are in a tough spot. They seem to be constantly under the guns of political correctness.

The papers carry an unending stream of stories claiming discriminatory misconduct. A few of these stories are true. Most aren't.

Usually, though, it doesn't matter. The media show little interest in finding out whether the cops were, in fact, wrong.

Reporters convict by innuendo, instead of evidence, but that's a privilege of being a reporter.

Now, if I were a cop, and reporters actually made an effort to learn their subject and find out whether they were right, I'd be content. A neutral and competent press would be no problem. But reporters aren't neutral or competent.

Neither are politicians. That's the reality.

For example, I recently read of a bunch of cops who were denied promotions on grounds that they had engaged in "racial profiling."

The phrase is a term of art, having little to do with reality. Black cops profile, too. But never mind. The fact is that if cops stop whites who fit a criminal profile, no one will care. But if they stop blacks, it will be racial profiling and they will be punished.

If they shoot anyone, black or white, rightly or wrongly, the assumption in the headlines will be that they did it wrongly and, if such a charge is even possible, for racial reasons. What to do?

I know exactly what I would do and what, if I were a police chief, I would quietly tell my men to do. It's a simple solution: Don't ever do anything politically incorrect. Do exactly what the press and racial lobbies want. Easy.

Take profiling. Having spent a lot of time in police cars, I know that, at least in jurisdictions I'm familiar with, blacks just flat hold the franchise for the street trade in drugs. I'll give you addresses of a dozen open-air drug markets if you like and you can go look. Whites use and sell a lot of drugs, run a lot of the bulk trade, but not on the street.

But right and wrong don't matter. Hindering the trade in drugs doesn't matter. Politics matters.

So, if I saw what I knew was very likely to be a drug dealer's car, and the driver was black, I'd ignore it. …

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