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Profiling? Or good police work?

MaggieD

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In a nutshell, for those who would say the article below is tldr, the Chicago police are going to the homes of identified gang members (starting in the Austin neighborhood) and delivering letters to the gangbangers -- warning them by reminding them of their past and letting them know that the CPD is aware of their gang membership and sees them as someone who might either cause violence or be the victim of same...letting them know that, because of the lifestyle they've chosen, they're quite likely to be a victim of homocide and encouraging them to change what they're doing.

People are complaining they're profiling. If you think it is profiling, what can the Chicago Police Department do to decrease gang violence?

CHICAGO (CBS) — In their efforts to curb street violence, Chicago police are trying something new.


It’s an experiment that is being rolled out today in the Austin neighborhood on the West Side. Austin District Cmdr. Barbara West will be knocking on the doors of 20 people, who police have identified as either possible future gunmen or potential victims of a gang-related shooting.West will deliver letters that warn those people to avoid violence.

“It actually reminds them of their past, and it puts them on notice that we’re specifically looking at you as an individual who could be involved in violence or the subject of violence,” West said. “We want to offer you a way out.”

West Side Police Commander To Pay Visit To Possible Gang Criminals « CBS Chicago
 

Crosscheck

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Don't think of this as profiling. These are individuals who have had involvement with gangs and this program makes sense.

Pulling over a black man just walking down the street is profiling.
 

ttwtt78640

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In a nutshell, for those who would say the article below is tldr, the Chicago police are going to the homes of identified gang members (starting in the Austin neighborhood) and delivering letters to the gangbangers -- warning them by reminding them of their past and letting them know that the CPD is aware of their gang membership and sees them as someone who might either cause violence or be the victim of same...letting them know that, because of the lifestyle they've chosen, they're quite likely to be a victim of homocide and encouraging them to change what they're doing.

People are complaining they're profiling. If you think it is profiling, what can the Chicago Police Department do to decrease gang violence?

I read the linked article yet still have no idea what “We want to offer you a way out” means. If that is advice to simply stop being a gang banger then that is likely an exercise in time wasting as many of these gangs are blood in, blood out. ;)
 

MaggieD

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I read the linked article yet still have no idea what “We want to offer you a way out” means. If that is advice to simply stop being a gang banger then that is likely an exercise in time wasting as many of these gangs are blood in, blood out. ;)

I wish they'd released the letter. It might make more sense.
 

ttwtt78640

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I wish they'd released the letter. It might make more sense.

A possible unintended side effect is that someone seeing the police "visit" these fine folks may lead to someone thinking that they are "snitching" which can result in some very serious consequences in the hood. ;)
 

RabidAlpaca

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Well it's not racial profiling, it's profiling against those with criminal pasts and known violent gang affiliation. It has nothing to do with race. It's not the police's fault most of these people just happen to be black.

Though like twtt said, I have no idea how this should stop crime.
 

Crosscheck

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Well it's not racial profiling, it's profiling against those with criminal pasts and known violent gang affiliation. It has nothing to do with race. It's not the police's fault most of these people just happen to be black.

Though like twtt said, I have no idea how this should stop crime.

It won't stop the majority of gang members and allies . But perhaps a few will open their family eyes to the road they are headed down.

Its an attempt.

We have been attempting for decades how to deal with the immature brain ( anyone under 25yrs old) with small success.
 

WCH

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Apparently, it would depend on what color they be. 8)

To me this sounds like the cops have given up.....completely
 

trfjr

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Well it's not racial profiling, it's profiling against those with criminal pasts and known violent gang affiliation. It has nothing to do with race. It's not the police's fault most of these people just happen to be black.

Though like twtt said, I have no idea how this should stop crime.

but the problem is the majority of those gangs members are black so the race hustlers will say it is racial profiling

i will give you and example we had a show called crime stoppers sponsored by the state here in the state which i live.
the show would be about unsolved crimes and needing help identifying and locating suspects. the vast majorities of those suspects where black not because the state was cherry picking crimes with black suspects but because the majority of the crimes where committed by blacks. the NAACP here in the state complained about the show being racist and treated boycotts if they didn't pull the show which the state under pressure did
 

Crosscheck

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but the problem is the majority of those gangs members are black so the race hustlers will say it is racial profiling

i will give you and example we had a show called crime stoppers sponsored by the state here in the state which i live.
the show would be about unsolved crimes and needing help identifying and locating suspects. the vast majorities of those suspects where black not because the state was cherry picking crimes with black suspects but because the majority of the crimes where committed by blacks. the NAACP here in the state complained about the show being racist and treated boycotts if they didn't pull the show which the state under pressure did

I think actually there are more hispanic gang members than black gang members. It seems the hispanic gangs are a more organized fratnerity. You haven't ran into a M13 yet I gather.
 

mike2810

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Don't think of this as profiling. These are individuals who have had involvement with gangs and this program makes sense.

Pulling over a black man just walking down the street is profiling.

agree on the first.
can partially agree on the second if there is no other cause. ex. the person walking down the street fits the general description of a wanted person.
 

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I'm actually against this. Harrassing people on the basis they may commit a crime is BS. Unless there is suspicion of a crime that has already taken place they should leave them be. This is real life not a Tom Cruise movie.
 

tererun

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In a nutshell, for those who would say the article below is tldr, the Chicago police are going to the homes of identified gang members (starting in the Austin neighborhood) and delivering letters to the gangbangers -- warning them by reminding them of their past and letting them know that the CPD is aware of their gang membership and sees them as someone who might either cause violence or be the victim of same...letting them know that, because of the lifestyle they've chosen, they're quite likely to be a victim of homocide and encouraging them to change what they're doing.

People are complaining they're profiling. If you think it is profiling, what can the Chicago Police Department do to decrease gang violence?

I read about this somewhere else, and because they are personally delivering the letters by representatives in the police department I think there are much different purposes to these letters than looking out for the well being of the people getting them. The admit the people getting them are ones they have researched and would have connections to gang violence and crime. They probably do not have an investigation or enough evidence for a search warrant to go in and look into their houses, but if the cops show up out of the goodness of their hearts and happen to find contraband sitting in plain sight when they bully their way inside to "talk" to the potential victims it is a great way to skip that whole pesky probable cause thing. I don't know if a crafty lawyer would have the evidence tossed out because of failure to follow the rules of evidence, but it will probably nail a couple of stupid ones.

I find it extremely unlikely that anyone actually thinks a letter telling them they live a dangerous lifestyle will actually do anything. This just sounds like a sneaky cop trick to me.
 

MaggieD

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I read about this somewhere else, and because they are personally delivering the letters by representatives in the police department I think there are much different purposes to these letters than looking out for the well being of the people getting them. The admit the people getting them are ones they have researched and would have connections to gang violence and crime. They probably do not have an investigation or enough evidence for a search warrant to go in and look into their houses, but if the cops show up out of the goodness of their hearts and happen to find contraband sitting in plain sight when they bully their way inside to "talk" to the potential victims it is a great way to skip that whole pesky probable cause thing. I don't know if a crafty lawyer would have the evidence tossed out because of failure to follow the rules of evidence, but it will probably nail a couple of stupid ones.

I find it extremely unlikely that anyone actually thinks a letter telling them they live a dangerous lifestyle will actually do anything. This just sounds like a sneaky cop trick to me.

I doubt the intent of the program is to get invited in and find contraband...though I admit that would be sneaky. I think it's probably trying to do a couple of things:

#1 We've got eyes on you.
#2 We know who you are, where you live, and will hold you accountable.
#3 Give families the same information (which may be helpful to those parents who care).
#4 Give them options.*

I really wish we could see the letters themselves. "What options?" one might ask. "Get out. Enlist," would be my advice.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy told the paper. “We’re saying, ‘We know who you are, we know what you do and your chance of dying in a homicide is much greater than John Q. Citizen.’”

Ultimately, there are 400 people on what they call their "heat list."
 

fmw

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I've never understood what people have against profiling. It is simply a way of increasing the effectiveness of an investigation. I used to marvel at how the TSA wanted to strip search English speaking American grandmothers to avoid being accused of profiling. What a waste.
 

MaggieD

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I've never understood what people have against profiling. It is simply a way of increasing the effectiveness of an investigation. I used to marvel at how the TSA wanted to strip search English speaking American grandmothers to avoid being accused of profiling. What a waste.

I agree with you. I see absolutely nothing wrong with profiling. It's one of our most powerful crime-fighting tools. And...we ourselves do it all the time. It's built into our survival instincts.
 

tererun

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I doubt the intent of the program is to get invited in and find contraband...though I admit that would be sneaky. I think it's probably trying to do a couple of things:

#1 We've got eyes on you.
#2 We know who you are, where you live, and will hold you accountable.
#3 Give families the same information (which may be helpful to those parents who care).
#4 Give them options.*

I really wish we could see the letters themselves. "What options?" one might ask. "Get out. Enlist," would be my advice.



Ultimately, there are 400 people on what they call their "heat list."

I am pretty sure criminals already know those things. Perhaps it might be information to a clueless family member or person they are living with. From what i understand of the right to privacy the door to your home is a big legal barrier. Once the police are inside a world of new options opens up for them, many of which do not require a warrant because evidence might be destroyed. It just seems like the letter is a sneaky way to do things because they can try to claim to the courts they did not show up as part of an investigation so they did not need a warrant. It goes along the same way with trying to get people to open the trunks of their cars which would require a warrant or some reason beyond pulling you over to search that area which is deemed private because it is not within plain sight. By getting a person to give them access to these places they circumvent the whole probable cause thing. While talking to you if they catch you in a lie, or if smell something, or catch a glimpse of some pipe they all of a sudden have a reason to look deeper, or to actually phone in for a warrant based on what they saw.

Ojn top of that you have the police department showing up to hand deliver a pointless unofficial letter to someone. Cops having an "official" letter might be misconstrued by someone as them having permission to come into your home because of court business. That is certainly not what this letter is. Why can't they just send it certified mail? It is just a little friendly warning letter and is in no way actually an officially sanctioned communication of the courts. Just bei9ng a person who has looked into some privacy laws and methods cops have tried in the past to circumvent it I see this as very deceptive and misleading, and there is no way i would even open the door for a cop if they had one of these letters and not an actual warrant to show me. I can see where others would feel intimidated and feel they had to open up.

I also do not feel it is technically profiling unless it is done based upon some other criteria aside from criminal association. However, if it is sent out based on associations rather than any evidence it could be considered improper due to guilt by association. That association probably would not be enough to get a warrant, but the police showing up to warn me about my friends could get them invited to a search because i waived my rights buy letting them in and talking to them in the first place.
 

radcen

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In a nutshell, for those who would say the article below is tldr, the Chicago police are going to the homes of identified gang members (starting in the Austin neighborhood) and delivering letters to the gangbangers -- warning them by reminding them of their past and letting them know that the CPD is aware of their gang membership and sees them as someone who might either cause violence or be the victim of same...letting them know that, because of the lifestyle they've chosen, they're quite likely to be a victim of homocide and encouraging them to change what they're doing.

People are complaining they're profiling. If you think it is profiling, what can the Chicago Police Department do to decrease gang violence?
Contrary to the current politically correct mindset, profiling isn't an automatically bad thing.

If I received one of those letters, I'd be suspicious, though. As ttwtt says...
I read the linked article yet still have no idea what “We want to offer you a way out” means. If that is advice to simply stop being a gang banger then that is likely an exercise in time wasting as many of these gangs are blood in, blood out. ;)
If you ever watch tv shows like The First 48, you see detectives interrogating suspects and saying things like, "Let me help you.", and, "How can I help you if you won't tell me the truth?", in an effort to establish rapport, and hopefully ultimately elicit a confession. Problem is, for the ones who fall for it, the "help" comes in the form of an arrest and charge. Because of tactics like that, a reputation for lying essentially, the motivation of the police has earned skepticism.
 

Psychoclown

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I am pretty sure criminals already know those things. Perhaps it might be information to a clueless family member or person they are living with. From what i understand of the right to privacy the door to your home is a big legal barrier. Once the police are inside a world of new options opens up for them, many of which do not require a warrant because evidence might be destroyed. It just seems like the letter is a sneaky way to do things because they can try to claim to the courts they did not show up as part of an investigation so they did not need a warrant. It goes along the same way with trying to get people to open the trunks of their cars which would require a warrant or some reason beyond pulling you over to search that area which is deemed private because it is not within plain sight. By getting a person to give them access to these places they circumvent the whole probable cause thing. While talking to you if they catch you in a lie, or if smell something, or catch a glimpse of some pipe they all of a sudden have a reason to look deeper, or to actually phone in for a warrant based on what they saw.

Ojn top of that you have the police department showing up to hand deliver a pointless unofficial letter to someone. Cops having an "official" letter might be misconstrued by someone as them having permission to come into your home because of court business. That is certainly not what this letter is. Why can't they just send it certified mail? It is just a little friendly warning letter and is in no way actually an officially sanctioned communication of the courts. Just bei9ng a person who has looked into some privacy laws and methods cops have tried in the past to circumvent it I see this as very deceptive and misleading, and there is no way i would even open the door for a cop if they had one of these letters and not an actual warrant to show me. I can see where others would feel intimidated and feel they had to open up.

I also do not feel it is technically profiling unless it is done based upon some other criteria aside from criminal association. However, if it is sent out based on associations rather than any evidence it could be considered improper due to guilt by association. That association probably would not be enough to get a warrant, but the police showing up to warn me about my friends could get them invited to a search because i waived my rights buy letting them in and talking to them in the first place.

Its very possible that could happen, though I'm not sure its the main intent/hope of this endeavor. And it is sneaky, but I don't think it would be unconstitutional. Frankly, if you're dumb enough to invite the cops in with illegal contraband laying around in open sight, you deserve what you get. Anyone with more than ten functioning brain cells would know that's a sure fire way to get arrested.
 

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Seems to me, police do this sort of "profiling" all the time.

When there's a sexual assault, police visit all the known sex offenders in the vacinity and question where they've been, what they've been doing, that sort of thing.

When there's any type of crime that typically has repeat offenders, police will always seek out the past offenders to see if they can get any leads.

Not sure how effective this effort will be since I'm pretty sure the vast majority of murders in Chicago aren't solved and I'll bet gang-related ones are pretty low on the list for investigators.
 

Mr. E

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I don't view it as profiling. Seattle police already have a program where they mail known drug dealers and advise them that they are on a list of known criminals and that there is enough evidence to convict them of a crime. Instead of pressing charges they offer them an opportunity to change. If that fails or they refuse to participate all charges are pressed.
 

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In a nutshell, for those who would say the article below is tldr, the Chicago police are going to the homes of identified gang members (starting in the Austin neighborhood) and delivering letters to the gangbangers -- warning them by reminding them of their past and letting them know that the CPD is aware of their gang membership and sees them as someone who might either cause violence or be the victim of same...letting them know that, because of the lifestyle they've chosen, they're quite likely to be a victim of homocide and encouraging them to change what they're doing.

People are complaining they're profiling. If you think it is profiling, what can the Chicago Police Department do to decrease gang violence?

I don't understand how it could be considered profiling if they are KNOWN gang members and not just suspected
 

Simon W. Moon

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"Profiling" is used to describe more than one activity.

Just because the different activities are all called "profiling" does not mean that the activities are the same. It is a disservice to conflate the different things.

"Profiling" someone based on behavior is not the same as "profiling" someone based on appearance even though both activities are called by the same name.




that'll be a nickel, please. thank you.
 

Kal'Stang

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I'm actually against this. Harrassing people on the basis they may commit a crime is BS. Unless there is suspicion of a crime that has already taken place they should leave them be. This is real life not a Tom Cruise movie.

Which is exactly why they should be doing it. This is real life. Peoples lives are literally on the line. Anything that helps with that is fine by me.
 
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