Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Civil rights groups' "claims" supported in Panhandle

According to the Amarillo Globe News, Canyon Police Chief Bobby Griffin thinks civil rights groups are telling lies about Texas police departments.

He said groups such as American Civil Liberties Union have publicized claims of racial profiling so tirelessly that a large segment of the public assumes all departments are guilty.

"At some point, perception becomes reality," Griffin said. "We've been tried and convicted through the media. There's no point in even arguing it any more."

And just what untruths are civil rights groups spreading?

He's referring to the Texas Criminal Justice Coalition's statewide racial profiling "study [which] claims that in the Amarillo area, blacks and Hispanics were involved in consent searches' at a higher rate than whites."

The study "claims" that, they announce. You gotta love the loaded language reporters chose. Usually one says a study "finds" something.

Meanwhile, the same article examined Amarillo-area departments' 2004 racial profiling reports. (The TCJC study examined reports statewide from 2003.) So what are the paper's findings on the question of consent searches?

Blacks make up 6 percent of Amarillo's population but were the subjects of 21 percent of searches in which consent to search was given. Hispanics, comprising about 22 percent of the city's populace, were involved in more than 41 percent of the searches in which police claimed probable cause.
That was really some questionable "claim," huh?

For additional "claims" from the TCJC study about Amarillo-area law enforcement agencies, see the regional fact sheet compiled from its findings
here (pdf). The full TCJC study and other regional fact sheets are linked here.


Rantor said...

Not seeing your e-mail address, I'm entering this comment. Has anyone to your knowledge done a PIR on the misuse of taxpayer-funded equipment at Midtown Live? Or asked what the policy is? Or if there is one? AP and the NYT have picked up this story and the local daily even editorialized about it. Out-of-town papers have printed more about this than the AA-S until recently. Have you posted about this?

Gritsforbreakfast said...

No I didn't. I must admit I've been ignoring APD issues some with the Legislature in session. Grim stuff, though.