Do you think police discriminate?

@feralcat (426)
Canada
December 26, 2006 10:34am CST
I normally don't do posts asking questions but I've got to get this off my chest. On Christmas eve at 10:30 in the morning I was driving down Highway 9 here in the left lane going to my employees home. They have a dog who peed a few times on the floor and I told him I had a steam carpet cleaning machine and he asked if I would go wash the carpets and I agreed. I was driving in the left lane since his house is o the left and the street names here are bloody hard to find. This RCMP was tailgating me and she decided to turn her lights on and pull me over. Said I was doing 70km in an 80km zone but my spedometer said 82 and told her so anyway, everything was cool. she checked my driver's license and registration came back and I told her I could not find the street. She gave me this look and then asked if I had a drink, fine no problem with that question then she looked at me again spotted my long hair and looks at me straight in the eye and says "you have any drugs or booze in the car?" Told her I was ot a user nor a drinker. I assume if I was a law abiding hard working Canadian citizen who was clean cut or a 6o year old ma driving in the left lane wanting to make a left hand turn this question of drugs and booze would have never came up but being a long haired hard working law abiding citizen makes no difference; the long hair in itself is enough to be stereotyped. I'm offended by this conduct; actually quite pissed off by this. I feel like I was discriminated against based on my looks and presumed a "user" which I take great offense too. Has anyone ever been treated this way by the so-called law officers?
7 people like this
42 responses
@onesiobhan (1330)
• Canada
26 Dec 06
I think it's pretty well-known that the police are biased against people who look a certain way. I remember when I first heard about the "young, black and male" syndrome, where people are being pulled over and patted down several times a week just because of the way I looked. At first I didn't understand what they were complaining about - this happens to everybody doesn't it? But of course eventually I realized that people who *aren't* black generally *don't* get patted down by the cops on a regular basis. It was definitely a part of my experience and that of my friends, not because we were all black, but because we wore leather jackets and black clothes, often the men had long hair and we had a lot of metal on our clothes. I figure the cops see law-breakers who look a certain way and extrapolate that all people who look that way are law-breakers. It's not just cops who do that. I had an argument recently with some people who said they were afraid of the fifteen and sixteen year-olds who hang around outside the local convenience stores, even though they have never seen these kids act in any way that might be construed as threatening. They defended their prejudices by saying, "Well if these kids don't want to be seem as gang members, why do they dress like gang memebers?." My response was to say, "They dress like TEENAGERS. Don't assume that all teenagers are in gangs, because most of them aren't."
2 people like this
• United States
26 Dec 06
I am sorry you had to go through that feralcat. I personally have never been sterotyped, but know several people that have. Yes, police, and other law enforcement, including airport security profile people way to often. It is becoming a detrement to our societies freedoms. Unfortunately in this post 911 world our freedoms are taken forgranted in the name of security and there is little we can do about it. It angers and offends me, when officers of the law assume false information based on "looks" or without any evidence. It is truly sad that our nations have come to this point.
1 person likes this
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
26 Dec 06
Thank you. I agree that our freedoms are taken for granted and everything has changed since 911. Sadly you think after so many years that things would have changed as far as what a person looks like but not much has changed. People are still often treated and judged right away by what they look like.
2 people like this
• United States
26 Dec 06
You are so right. My son was pulled over driving his "bicycle" home from work about two weeks ago. He is 18, works at Walmart, which is about 5 miles from home, and usually works until 10-11 pm. He has piercings but not overly done (one in his lip and one in his eyebrow), and wears a black trench coat to keep warm...he is kind of gothic looking, I will admit. Anyway, everything was legal on the bike...lights and all. They made him get off the bike, put him on the ground, in rain, on his knees, and searched him, even questioning why he had a box cutter knife in his pocket that he uses for work. The called back up...three cars to pull over a bike, on a weeknight. They questioned him repeatedly about where exactly he was going. They made him do a sobriety test too. He kept asking why he was pulled over and noone answered him. When everything checked out, they told him he could go, but they followed him all the way home...we live up a long drive, so they didn't come up the driveway. It just sucks to live in a police state. It angers me when police think they can profile anyone for no particular reason other than the way they look.
1 person likes this
@jen20619 (1302)
• Ireland
26 Dec 06
Sorry to hear what happened to you and by the way I personality like long hair on a man.But we must remember here that not only the police discriminate we as a society discriminate.I think we are all guality of it at some stage in our lifes.For example not talking to a guy that comes up to you in the street cause he looks dirty and probly homeless.Not getting away from the subject as Im sure you found it upsetting.But we have to remember as long as you have done nothing wronge you have nothing to worry about.Interested discussion well done
@feralcat (426)
• Canada
26 Dec 06
I so totally agree with you. I have friends that are homeless and they are some of the nicest people I know. We are so quick at judging people by looks we see mto forget often times that there is a real person behind the "looks"
1 person likes this
• India
27 Dec 06
i think police certainly discriminates among rich and famous AND poor ppl...
1 person likes this
@ahsan16 (175)
27 Dec 06
This is sad to know but I dont like police for this habit. Never mind.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Dec 06
My husband in asian and we live in the U.S. The officer gave him a ticket for his license plate being in the rear window even though it was still visible. It kept falling off the back, so we put it in the window. Lots of other people do it and when he went to court to dispute it they said he didn't have to pay for it.
1 person likes this
@vipul20044 (5800)
• India
26 Dec 06
That is really so sad to hear Really the so called cops have this sense of superiority in them that they are the best !@#$ the rest!Its like devils in disguise!
1 person likes this
• India
26 Dec 06
yes i do but sometimes it looks really quite not just different but unhealthy too.
1 person likes this
• Canada
22 Aug 08
Police officers are just as human as the rest of us and are capable of the same abberations of Joe Q. Public. The difference is that police have the power of law and force behind them. Sometimes I think we are a bit too lax in our screening processes for prospective policemen. I have witnessed police discrimination and what these experiences leave me with is a mistrust for law enforcement as a whole. How can we trust what we are dealing with when a cruiser pulls up? Yes, I would agree that you were discriminated against but really all you can do is spout it off. It is good you recognize this.
@finidinwa (497)
• United States
27 Dec 06
well they do discriminate
@schummi (925)
• India
27 Dec 06
well i ahve myself experienced these kinda thinkin bfore and i really think they do discriminate.i donno in which world are these guys living
• United States
27 Dec 06
yes, they discriminate on several factors: race, age, demeanor, and dress code.
@DigWeed (227)
• Romania
27 Dec 06
What do you think of minorities chances of being stopped by a police officer
@emmet18 (1116)
• Romania
27 Dec 06
I also have the same problm with the police. In many occasions.
• Philippines
27 Dec 06
It's so sad that you had to go through that, and on Christmas nontheless! Well, I haven't been treated that way by cops. But I can relate. I too have experienced discrimination at some point.. when I went to the US (being Asian), from guys (being a girl) and from Asians themselves (being a halfbreed). It's really annoying(and offending) why people still have to be stereotyped when we all know looks can really be deceiving. Why races are generalized as being like this or like that.
@Khangura (924)
• Canada
27 Dec 06
Yea its usually about race too check this out: More than one in three people believe police officers discriminate on grounds of race, according to a survey commissioned by BBC News Online. The ICM opinion poll also suggests that half those questioned believe the government has failed to do enough to combat racism. The survey, part of a major BBC News Online series on race relations in the UK, highlights concern in the black and Asian communities about the way the police treat people from ethnic minorities. to see the survey check this out: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2000063.stm
@padhukr (2267)
• India
27 Dec 06
i like police.my friend mother is police.
@katyzzz (2902)
• Australia
27 Dec 06
I remember, after a car accident, a policeman seemed to favour the other driver. My husband, a little wiser than I, was convinced the policemand knew the other driver. but I am not sure really.
• United States
27 Dec 06
Most of the time they do, thanks for the info.
• United States
27 Dec 06
Most of the time they do, thanks for the info.