03 February 2007

walking while black

in what first seemed like a snippet straight from the onion, comes a story of an Atlanta community under siege by arbitrary law enforcement.
According to the DC-6 ordinance: "It shall be unlawful for any person [to] ... be in or about any place where gaming or the illegal sale or possession of alcoholic beverages or narcotics or dangerous drugs is practiced, allowed or tolerated[.]"

What that means, essentially, is that a person can be arrested simply for being in what police designate as a "known drug area" -- even if he or she just walks down the street or chats with a neighbor. That's problematic, says American Civil Liberties Union Legal Director Gerry Weber, because the law is so ambiguous that it invites discriminatory enforcement and therefore may be unconstitutional.
discrimination is not dead in this country.

3 comments:

  1. The logical extension of this ordinance : Since crime, over time, tends to be spead evenly everywhere, it will eventually be illegal to be anywhere, and police can sieze you under suspicion of breathing.

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  2. Did you see the news that police stops in NYC were up 5x since 2002, over 500K stopped in 2006.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/04/nyregion/04frisk.html

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  3. yeah, my wife like to keep me up to date on that kind of stuff.

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