Profiled

My Recent Posts

First, A Story:

Nine years ago, I left Houston Texas (as my place of residence) for good; moving back to the small East Texas town I grew up in.

 

I was driving on a particular stretch of highway in my hometown when I noticed a trooper behind me.  I knew this stretch of highway had a lower (than normal/expected) speed limit and was luckily going at that speed... so... I quickly set my cruise control to that speed and kept going.  And the officer followed me... and followed me... and followed me for a long, long time.  A mile or two before a major intersection... he lit me up.

 

Officer: (upon approaching my open window) Do you know why I pulled you over.

 

Texas Lynn: No sir, I'm afraid I don't.

 

Officer: 57 in a 55.

 

TexasLynn: (pause)... (pause)... OK

 

TexasLynn (mentally thinking): (OK, OK... yes... I give you permission to give him a cussing... BUT NOT until he actually hands you a ticket.)

 

Officer: May I see you license and proof of insurance

 

TexasLynn: Yes sir.

 

Now all my information (license, insurance, etc) still contained my Houston address.  The officer stepped back to his cruiser and after a while came back to the window and started asking more questions; the gist of which was "What are you (a young, petite, black woman from Houston) doing along this stretch of highway?

 

I explained that I was in the process of moving back to this stretch of highway and would be updating my information at first opportunity.  I noticed that he asked a few conversational questions that only a local (or someone who grew up there) would know.

 

Eventually he seemed satisfied, handed me my license, insurance card and a warning ticket and said something like "Thank you, please drive safe."  And that was it.

 

What the $%#@:

What just happened there?  I was profiled!  Maybe not racially (I don't know), but it definitely was a case of profiling!

 

 

My original reaction to this event was, "that was weird" and moved to "wow... profiling... that's what that was".  But to be honest, my reaction never reached one of "I was a victim, or that was wrong".

 

The key to the whole profile, I believe, was a license plate that originated in Houston.  I'm assuming his computer confirmed that and he knew that before pulling me over.

 

So, What:

Moving on, I propose that there was nothing wrong with the scenario in which I was profiled and inconvenienced.  With that in mind, I question if all profiling is wrong and even question if all racial profiling is wrong.  Is it within the realm of possibilities that targeting someone primarily on the basis of race is OK in some circumstances.

 

A Couple of Scenarios:

When young, petite, black women start hijacking and blowing up planes... single me out; until then have a special line for young (18-30) middle-eastern men. 

 

*&^% random checks.  Never, ever, perform a "random" check of a ninety-year-old man/woman in a wheelchair; or blond-haired, blue-eyed little girls... there is NO logical or useful reason to.  And no... politically correct conscious soothing is not a logical or useful reason.

 

See a car load of white yuppie looking boys slowly cruising a neighborhood rife with drugs and prostitutes?  Pull those dumb-asses over, separate them and see if there stories match.

 

There may even be a scenario or two where young black males (or young, petite, black women) are profiled... use your imagination. 

 

It all comes down to common sense vs political correctness.  It’s time for common sense to reassert itself in the world.  Or are we beyond that point?

Comments

opher goodwin Added Sep 20, 2018 - 12:23pm
Tex - I never knew you were a young, petite, black woman, not that it affects my attitude.
Yes I think we should be profiled - to an extent. It's a lesser evil I reckon.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 12:46pm
Opher >> I never knew you were a young, petite, black woman...
 
Very few people on WB are aware of that.
 
Opher >> ...not that it affects my attitude.
 
I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.  You'd be surprised what something as simple as an avatar will let you get away with.
 
Opher >> Yes I think we should be profiled - to an extent. It's a lesser evil I reckon.
 
%$#@ Opher... now I've got to re-evaluate my position. :)
Katharine Otto Added Sep 20, 2018 - 1:14pm
TexasLynn,
I didn't know you were a young, petite, black woman either, and it does change my attitude.  In some ways, I respect you more for having the courage to speak up, as you have here.  
 
I like your independent mind, and we need more women to display well researched initiative and spirit.  While I don't agree with some of your positions, I always find your posts interesting and informative.
Michael B. Added Sep 20, 2018 - 1:22pm
Several years ago, two co-workers (both white as can be) had to go to someplace in southern Indiana. They told me they were nearing their destination when a police car going in the opposite direction suddenly made a U-turn, lit up, and pulled them over, apparently because they weren't from there. Several months ago, a friend and his son (also very white) made a cross-country car trip and got pulled over in southern Indiana under remarkably similar circumstances.
 
Whenever cops see groups of three or more males in the same vehicle, especially a van, and regardless of race, they automatically get extra police scrutiny, up to and including getting pulled over for trumped-up "offenses"...rightfully so, as we're usually up to no good. ; )
Stone-Eater Added Sep 20, 2018 - 1:22pm
Lynn
 
My wife and me (from Switzerland) drove in a '61 Chevy Corvair with NJ license plates through the US and got woken up sleeping in a parking lot near Belt, Montana, at around 2am. Flashlight and stuff.
 
Imagine the stare of the cops when they controlled us....
Stone-Eater Added Sep 20, 2018 - 1:25pm
It all comes down to common sense vs political correctness. 
 
PC has already won I'm afraid. Common sense isn't something very widespread anyway.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 1:35pm
KO >> I didn't know you were a young, petite, black woman either...
 
Before this goes too far and I'm accused of misleading... I'm not a young, petite, black woman.  That reference is an inside joke among a handful of WB posters.  I made the tongue in cheek claim concerning people foolishly putting too much stock in avatars some time ago.  The reference has since come up a few times in other posts.
 
For the record, I have also on multiple occasions claimed to be a "fiddler crab" (in reference to a Warner Bros. Daffy Duck cartoon) in order to make various points.  I must now also confess I am not, in fact, a fiddler crab. :)
 
That said, my avatar is an actual picture of me (minus quite bit of gray).  Thus one might surmise that I'm the opposite of young, the opposite of petite, the opposite of black, and the opposite of female.  Crabby may be open to debate...
 
Hopefully this revelation does no degrade your respect too much.  Granted, I do see your point concerning those with the courage to speak out knowing their views are outside the cultural stereotype.  Alas, I am not that person.
 
KO >> I like your independent mind, and we need more women to display well researched initiative and spirit.
 
Thank you, again, I hope my good intentioned ruse has not degraded that too much.  Luckily there are several women on WB that do fill that appreciated role.
 
KO >> While I don't agree with some of your positions, I always find your posts interesting and informative.
 
Again, thank you and ditto.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 2:18pm
Micael B, I guess one of the points of my post is to make it clear that profiling occurs and isn't always about race.  I appreciate your sharing experiences that confirm that.
 
I'm also posing that profiling (even racial) isn't always a bad thing.  It can be a valid tool and like all tools can be abused.  We should concentrate on the abuse, not the elimination of the tool.
 
If a police officer wants to pull you over, he can find a reason to do it; 57 in a 55 for example.  I remember an officer in Houston decided to pull me over after I left a bar one night.  The reason he gave was that I didn’t signal when I turned left (and he was right, I didn’t).  Of course, I was in the left turn only lane at the time. :)
 
In my case, I was driving alone, but something made the officer want a closer look.  The only thing I could think of was the Houston address.
 
Again... profiling is a tool.  It becomes abuse when the tool is used to generate revenue (tickets) or for other disingenuous means.
 
And sometimes we ARE "usually up to no good"... and it's kind of obvious by our demeanor or a myriad of other factors.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 2:19pm
SE >> My wife and me (from Switzerland) ... got woken up sleeping in a parking lot near Belt, Montana, at around 2am.  Flashlight and stuff.... Imagine the cops...
 
Yeah... just from my limited exposure to you I can confidently say you two needed profiling. :)  I sure with a bit of counseling the cops learned to deal with the unfortunate experience. :)
 
SE >> PC has already won I'm afraid. Common sense isn't something very widespread anyway.
 
I agree, but that won't stop me from pining (and advocating) for a return to sanity.
Rusty Smith Added Sep 20, 2018 - 2:39pm
 When I was younger I got profiled and pulled over all the time for being young having a fast car and motorcycle, for the way I was attired, and for being in unusual places for a person who looked like me.  I can't blame the police, people who looked like me and drove those vehicles frequently disregarded the speed limits and were responsible for other mischief so profiling me made sense and even made me super aware I was being watched.
 
Like many other kids that age I did like to race and get in other types of mischief, so although I was often not up to no good when they pulled me over for looking suspicious, they did know trouble when they saw it and I don't blame them for pulling me over. 
 
I can't count the number of time I was pulled over for nothing, sometimes after being followed for a long time and accused of something stupid like minor speeding, not coming to a full stop or crossing out of lanes a mile before I was pulled over.
 
I found the best thing to do was act like a momma's boy, polite and respectful as I could be because challenging them almost always resulted in an underserved ticket.  God knows I got plenty of well deserved tickets so I didn't need more. 
 
I think it's funny when I hear black people say how horrible it is to be pulled over for driving while black as though their experince is unique.  If I take my hot car out today and drive it for a week, especially in the wrong places, I am almost certain to get pulled over at least once.  Last time that happened I was accused of drinking, then told I failed the sobriety test, (NO WAY), and eventually let go with a speeding ticket I didn't deserve because my car looks fast.  The police followed me for about 2 miles from a bar parking lot to the freeway, stopping me just before I got on the freeway.  It was 1 pm,  I don't drink alcohol and used cruise control all the way to the freeway because they were parked right outside the bar parking lot and started following me the second I left.  I'm not even a kid anymore.
 
You don't have to be black to get halsted.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 3:40pm
Rusty, thanks for sharing your experience.  You seem to have the right attitude.  When dealing with an officer (even if he's a jerk) it's time to go into cooperative polite mode.
 
If you have a complaint, take it up with his office later.  I've been very pissed before, but I have (so far) managed to heed my own advise.  A man with a gun seems to have that effect on me. :)
 
As I stated above...  "I remember an officer in Houston decided to pull me over after I left a bar one night.  The reason he gave was that I didn’t signal when I turned left (and he was right, I didn’t).  Of course, I was in the left turn only lane at the time. :)"
 
That officer had singled me out the moment I left the bar parking lot.  When he pulled me over he realized...
1) I was very cooperative and polite
 
2) I kept my hands where he could see them and tried to make his job easier.
 
3) I wasn't defensive and didn't have an ax to grind.
 
4) I looked him in the eye when I spoke.
 
5) I was older than he expected.
 
To sum it up... I made sure I didn't fit any of the profiles he was looking for.
Michael B. Added Sep 20, 2018 - 3:49pm
Ask just about any cop what gets their attention besides something very obvious, like someone clearly in distress or someone weaving in and out of lanes, and they'll invariably say anything unusual and/or out of the ordinary....they always fail to mention "any unusual PEOPLE and/or PEOPLE out of the ordinary."
 
I wrote a post on this subject, maybe I'll break it out again, but I'll let this one go a little while...I don't want to steal another one's thunder, lol.
Rick W. Added Sep 20, 2018 - 5:35pm
TL>It all comes down to common sense vs political correctness
 
I may have missed the analogy here. Help me out.
 
Are you saying that your experience at an East Texas speed-trap is analogous to being pulled over for driving while black? Or are you saying that, as a guy with a car registered in Houston, you're likely to be a drug mule for the East Texas meth trade, so it was reasonable to check you out?
Leroy Added Sep 20, 2018 - 5:41pm
I escorted an octogenarian mother of a friend of mine to my friend's wedding in Florida.  We flew, of course.  It was a couple of years after 9/11.  She was recovering from a broken hip and hobbled with a cane.  Firstly, they refused to let her use her cane to go through the metal detector.  That pissed me off.  Secondly, they selected her for a more detailed search.  Rather than selecting this frail octogenarian who could barely walk, they could have made better use of their time by profiling people who might actually blow up a plane.
 
Talking about being respectful, I go out of my way to be polite.  I don't want to make trouble for myself, nor do I want the officer to feel frightened.  The two aren't unrelated.  My colleague told me his story of being pulled over by a snotnosed cop.  He had the impression that the cop wanted to be addressed as "Sir" to which refused.  By his own admission, he was rude and disrespectful.  He gave him the maximum fine.  He deserved it, IMHO.  The funny thing is that he didn't learn his lesson.  He got pulled over a second time that day.  He was more polite the second time around, begging the officer for mercy since he had already been pulled over once already that day.  The officer responded, "Oh! You didn't learn your lesson the first time.  Let's see if this helps."  He fined him for everything he could think of.  All he had to do is say "Sir" and show a little respect and his day would have gone much better.
 
In my younger days, we were regularly pulled over.  We were guilty of driving while young.  They assumed we were up to no good and were right most of the time.  On the positive side, back in the day, they expected boys to be boys and let us off with warnings.  It pays to be polite.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 6:15pm
Rick W >> I may have missed the analogy here. Help me out.
 
I'm definitely NOT saying the former and I am saying the later only partially covers the overall message of what I consider reasonable.
 
I'm really trying to make three points:
1) Profiling is a useful tool.  I was profiled, I'm OK with it.
2) Racial profiling should also be considered useful and acceptable.
3) As with all tools, we should watch and correct abuse (but not just toss the tool in the garbage).
 
To further clarify...
 
Scenario 1: Analogous to Driving While Black
To be honest, while I am sure "driving while black" occurs, I suspect it prevalence is highly exaggerated.  I am also stating that "driving while white" exists under certain circumstances and that it likely should exist.  My example of a bunch of white yuppies cruising in a bad neighborhood would be one example of proper use of racial profiling.
 
An even better example is the fiasco we currently have called airport security; where the entire population is put through hell (at great expense) so as not to offend the minuscule minority committing the vast majority of the offenses.  We would be a lot safer for a lot less expense if we were simply willing to acknowledge what everybody knows.  Then, act on that knowledge and enhance security for a specific race, age, and a few other factors.
 
So, again... racial profiling should be a socially acceptable tool.  As with ALL tools we should watch for abuse, but not remove the tool altogether.
 
Scenario 2: Houston Registered Car, So Check Me Out
As I stated, I'm pretty sure that is what happened.  The officer did not share with me what he might have suspected, but drugs is a reasonable guess.  There may have been other factors in the profile that I'm not aware of; the marijuana decal for example... :P
 
As for as my experience in profiling, there is really no way to prevent it.  I'm not a member of a protected class and thus have no recourse.  But, thinking it over, I'm OK with that.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 6:40pm
Leroy, I seem to remember watching airport security "randomly" select a very old gentleman in a wheelchair one time.  They put that poor man and his family through hell... for absolutely no reason.  I didn't say anything, and to this day consider it a sin of omission.
 
As I stated above, for no reason other than political correctness we, as a society, have decided that we will put the whole (of passengers) through hell (and at the greatest possible expense) so as not to offend the minuscule minority committing the vast majority of the offenses.
 
Leroy >> Talking about being respectful, I go out of my way to be polite.  I don't want to make trouble for myself, nor do I want the officer to feel frightened.  The two aren't unrelated.
 
I agree. 
 
When I'm pulled over...
 
1) If I'm wearing sunglasses, I take them off.
 
2) While the officer is approaching my vehicle, I keep both hands on the steering wheel and I don't move around looking for stuff.
 
3) When I'm addressed I answer respectfully and with a yes Sir/Ma'am.  Age has nothing to do with it.  Even if the officer is rude (which has occurred only once with me), I still show that respect.
 
With that in mind, the only time I've ever gotten warning tickets is when it was obvious that was all that was warranted.  The popo don't cut TexasLynn no slack... :)
 
Rick W (above) can attest to the fact that I drove many years as a youngster before I ever had a license (but those were very different days).  I liked my mobility and since me keeping it required that I not get tickets, I generally towed the line and never got pulled over.  I think I got one ticket before I got my license and that was because I forgot to renew the dam inspection sticker.
 
Rick... I know you remember that old beat up '65 Chevy pickup. :)  I'd pay top dollar to have that pickup back today.  Is that just an old man wanting to reclaim a bit of his youth? :)
FacePalm Added Sep 20, 2018 - 6:42pm
TL-
There's a difference between traveling and driving.
You may wish to apprise yourself of the info here, and consider a different approach to being pulled over.
BTW, the info at that site is apparently written by cops, so make of it what you will.
 
Rick W. Added Sep 20, 2018 - 6:42pm
Ok cool. I’m pretty much on board with you. 
 
>An even better example is the fiasco we currently have called airport security; where the entire population is put through hell (at great expense) so as not to offend the minuscule minority committing the vast majority of the offenses.
 
I haven’t experienced this hell you speak of. Flying to Seattle or the Philippines has been fairly easy. I’ve been scanned and walked barefoot and all that silliness (and I agree it’s silly), but not tortured. Have you had a bad experience?
 
What we should do is what the Israelis and Saudis do. Interviews. Real people — sharp people, not mouth breathers — asking questions and applying intelligence and skill. That’s what finds terrorists, not body scanners. Just ask El Al. Safest airline on Earth.
EXPAT Added Sep 20, 2018 - 7:51pm
Yes Lynn. You live in a land of regulations and laws that are impossible to comply with. Impossible because they are so numerous their interpretation is speculative, and their compliance many times conflicting with nature. As each generation developed new social theories, they passed new regulations to force compliance. As I have stated many times, everybody knows how everybody else should behave.
 
As long as people are profiles, there is no Justice, or even fairness or equity. The natural antagonism of Authority V. People is heightened by the Grip computers have on your entire life. You are a well regulated, controlled functionary, and as long as you do not try to use your mind for deduction, and just follow orders. Every body is happy.
 
Here in Thailand, the police follow the purpose of the Law, and not the letter of the Law. 57 in a 55 would be laughable here, in fact most places, with the exception of Super Highways, don't even have speed limits, traffic lights, parking meters. The people are expected to use common sense!
Bill H. Added Sep 20, 2018 - 10:18pm
 
I'm guessing it was the cammo shirt and the beard.
TexasLynn Added Sep 20, 2018 - 10:24pm
Bill H >> I'm guessing it was the cammo shirt and the beard.
 
LMAO! :)  Very astute.  Everybody and his dog has a cammo shirt and a beard around here... but not everybody uses words like "astute". :)
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 21, 2018 - 5:49am
In many parts of Texas "astute" ( pron. ass-toot ) is used to describe the after effects of good chili
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 21, 2018 - 5:56am
profiling is a good tool to use in intel......in identifying activities and to then monitor and take action when required. 
 
what is happening is not profiling. it is fishing. Here's a news flash to law enforcement: your job is not supposed to be easy! There are protections for citizens that are intended to make it more difficult in order to curb abuses. You know....those constitutional amendments you wipe your spotty asses with every day?
 
As previously stated, I have ZERO sympathy for cops. Hired thugs
 
I am familiar with east TX, have some fond memories of time spent there. I would, however, never live there precisely because of the very badge heavy mentality that prevails within it's borders
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 21, 2018 - 7:39am
I am familiar with east TX, have some fond memories of time spent there. I would, however, never live there precisely because of the very badge heavy mentality that prevails within it's borders
 
Damn skippy! 
 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 21, 2018 - 7:41am
I am familiar with east TX, have some fond memories of time spent there. I would, however, never live there precisely because of the very badge heavy mentality that prevails within it's borders
 
Endemic not only to East Texass. 
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 9:29am
TBH >> profiling is a good tool to use in intel......in identifying activities and to then monitor and take action when required.
 
I can definitely understand and respect that position.  I think what were witnessing with profiling is the recipe for sausage vs. making it.
 
TBH >> As previously stated, I have ZERO sympathy for cops. Hired thugs.  I am familiar with east TX...
 
Well, at least come back and visit. :)
 
I have been meaning to share with you the gist of a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago BECAUSE it reminded me of you and a recent post of yours.
 
The gentleman I was talking to told me that hard drugs in East Texas was an epidemic and was destroying so many lives; and I judged him as a man who should know.  BUT... then he added that he was just talking about the hard stuff... "Smoking a little marijuana never hurt anybody."
 
That took me back a bit and I told him that was not something I would expect to hear from an East Texas sheriff.
 
The times?  They are a changin' :)
Stone-Eater Added Sep 21, 2018 - 9:32am
Strange habits. Here in Switzerland there are very rarely ID and license controls. Never gotten into one. Only time cops show up is when accidents happen.
Thomas Sutrina Added Sep 21, 2018 - 9:36am
Police are people to and their are as many bigot on the police force as anywhere else, maybe more.  As you may know I have been writing on WB about institutional racism.  So a person that is prone to bigotry will feel comfortable working for government.  The public in general is the least bigotry then any time in the nations history.
 
On the other hand the reason for this occurring may be due to decades of institutional racism skew the society in the government created Black Ghettos, however; it doesn't change the crime statistics of the black ghettos.   And the other 85% of the population do not want to be a victim.   Self preservation dictates be on guard which is different that acting.  
 
What do you think of the broken window policy that New York City used to drastically reduce crime and to remove criminals carrying illegal gun around the city.    The police profiled people.  They knew how to identify gang members and use that to look for a 'broke window' crime.  Making up a 'broke window' crime is not part of the mandate, however; I am sure it occurred.   
 
So tell us does East Texas have a skewed crime statistics that says black women are very likely to be committing a crime?  Women by every statistic are far less likely then men to be committing a crime. 
 
You have a problem with your local government.  They have a right to be on guard and in general to look for those 'broke window' crimes.  We all including police have a right to profile, and it is a animal instinct to do so.  You profile someone when you were wanting to date them.  To profile is OK.  To create a reason to act is not that  is outside the social norms and law.
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 10:09am
Thomas >> Police are people to and their are as many bigot on the police force as anywhere else, maybe more.
 
I wouldn't say more but would concede likely the same as the general public.
 
Thomas >> So a person that is prone to bigotry will feel comfortable working for government.
 
I can't imagine a bigot being comfortable working much of anywhere in this day and age.  But then, many would consider me a bigot (though not a race bigot).
 
Thomas >> The public in general is the least bigotry then any time in the nations history.
 
That, I agree with.  I worked in corporate America for 20 years, I NEVER saw racism of any kind.
 
Thomas >> What do you think of the broken window policy that New York City...
 
Isn't that technically the same thing as happened here?  What I think is planting or creating evidence is a no-no.  Finding a legitimate reason to look closer is OK... IMO.
 
Thomas >> So tell us does East Texas have a skewed crime statistics that says black women are very likely to be committing a crime?  Women by every statistic are far less likely then men to be committing a crime.
 
I'm not in a position to know... all I can do is relate personal experience.
 
Thomas >> You have a problem with your local government.
 
??? Maybe I'm missing what you're saying here.  How do I have a problem?  I related my experience and was supportive of the officer and how it all went down?  Are you saying the local government has a problem (as TBH says)?
 
Thomas >> They have a right to be on guard and in general to look... We all ... have a right to profile
 
Yes, I think that is correct.
 
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 10:13am
SE >> Here in Switzerland there are very rarely ID and license controls. Never gotten into one. Only time cops show up is when accidents happen.
 
Don't feel bad Stone, nobody is perfect.  I'm sure if you Swiss really apply yourselves you could make your system more like ours.  Don't give up that dream... :)
Thomas Sutrina Added Sep 21, 2018 - 10:22am
Broken window law enforcement in principle still requires a 'broken window'.  From your article you didn't break the window.  So the police had no reason to stop you.  And the fact that your a local returning is not a reason to give you a warning vs a ticket.   In fact an outsider has more reason to get a warning then a local that knows the speed limit is low.
 
You have described a local police department out of control of it's officers.  That policeman railroaded others and his boss didn't give him the riot act.  
Bill H. Added Sep 21, 2018 - 11:02am
 
I spent some time helping to train police dogs for both a local venue security company and a local PD. While working with both the real cops and the wanna-be cops, I detected a very high level of racism. Surprisingly, I even noticed this with several black officers, who seemed to freely show a high level of anger for the local young black gang bangers versus how they treated gang bangers of other races. Terms were used to describe blacks, such as "male typical" or Asians as "rice boys".
Even though I worked closely with the canine officers, during times when they would meet up with other officers in the field, I was usually totally ignored and was never included in any conversations with them. It's as if I was considered a member of the opposition by being a "civilian". I could always sense that they felt uncomfortable when I was present.
Rick W. Added Sep 21, 2018 - 11:22am
TL>"Smoking a little marijuana never hurt anybody."  
That took me back a bit and I told him that was not something I would expect to hear from an East Texas sheriff.
 
It's Willie Nelson's fault. He's 85 and trim and happy. Hard to argue with results. :)
Bill H. Added Sep 21, 2018 - 12:34pm
 
Saw Willie on TV just a few days ago. I am totally amazed at how sharp, happy, and well preserved his is, also.
He even has his own personal cannabis strain.
The Burghal Hidage Added Sep 21, 2018 - 1:17pm
Works for me. I'm in ten time the shape of most drunks half my age :)
Alcohol is a killer. I imbibe, but do not abuse. It's a poison that I have tamed. If there were more stoners and fewer drunks you wouldn't have all of the DUIs.  Anybody who can not drive with marijuana probably could not drive before.
 
Tom made a good point and it is that there have been too many windows of opportunity allowed for cops to just take a peek for shits and giggles. They flushed the fourth amendment about 40 years ago.
 
Bill H describes (well I might add) the us vs. them mentality that prevails in so called law enforcement. Others have noted this before ( some of William Stockman's prior comments come to mind). It begs the question: how does an organization whose stated goal ostensibly is to serve the public actually do that (serve), when their attitude is one that defines the public as an adversary? And this is not just from the rank and file officers. This starts at the top. The badge is the master. The badge is infallible. What bull shit!
 
All these cop organizations and their apologists want to boo hoo and shame us for what a tough job they have to do every day. Excuse me, did any one march these officers at gunpoint to sign up?  I don't think so. You can't take a job as a fishmonger and then whine about it when everyone complains about how you smell
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 3:24pm
Thomas >> Broken window law enforcement in principle still requires a 'broken window'. 
 
Good... that's the way it should be.
 
Thomas >> From your article you didn't break the window.  So the police had no reason to stop you. 
 
I do believe that I never broke the speed limit... can I say that with absolute certainty.  No.
 
You can't drive without breaking some ordinance.  Touch a white line... drive in the wrong (passing) lane for too long... take a sip of coffee... Technically each is a valid, legal, reason to pull someone over.  My point being, there is ALWAYS a "broken window".  As far as the officer is concerned... pick one.
 
I can certainly understand the opinion that much more should be required to pull someone over than what is often given as the reason (ad TBH suggests).
 
Thomas >> And the fact that your a local returning is not a reason to give you a warning vs a ticket.
 
Are you saying I should have been given an actual ticket?  Or that I never should have been pulled over?  Or he should have just sent me on my way without the warning?  I'm not following you.
 
I consider the warning ticket as the same thing as sending me on my way; which, under the circumstances, I considered the right thing to do.
 
Thomas >> In fact an outsider has more reason to get a warning then a local that knows the speed limit is low.
 
Remember, I hadn't lived there in 20 years and had just returned.  Yeah, I'm local, but not as up-to-date.
 
An outsider is more likely to just pay the ticket and not go to court over it (looking at it from the "local" perspective).
 
Thomas >> You have described a local police department out of control of it's officers.
 
Doubtful.  I suspect the local police department condones exactly what that officer did.  That sounds like complete control to me.  Then you may say the department is "out of control"; but that's a judgement call.
 
Yes, I agree, that very fine lines were walked here.  I'm also saying as long as the line isn't crossed, walking it is fine with me.
 
Thomas >> That policeman railroaded others and his boss didn't give him the riot act.
 
I'm not with you.  He definitely didn't "railroad" me.  And assuming this tactic resulted in identifying resulted in some other person being caught in a crime... I wouldn't even call that railroading.
 
Pull someone over, break his tail light... plant evidence... that kind of stuff.  That's railroading.  I have no reason to believe any of that ever happened.
 
Spartacus Added Sep 21, 2018 - 3:27pm
My buddy at my job was out drinking one night.  He ran over a chainlink fence which then attached to the bottom of his car.
Unknowingly, he was dragging 10 feet of chainlink fence which might not have been too obvious at night were it not for the fireworks display just below his rear-view.
He was pulled over and taken promptly to jail.
 
PROFILED!
Neil Lock Added Sep 21, 2018 - 3:51pm
Lynn: I think it's all about "revenue." The cop probably thought "This guy is from Houston, and people have money in Houston." And if he had ticketed you, and you had paid up, he would probably have got a percentage.
 
"57 in a 55" is weird. It's a bit like "you had sex two days before you reached the legal age, so you're a criminal." Such arbitrary "laws" are made for the sake of oppressing people and ripping us off. The right question is, "Is this guy driving dangerously for this situation?"
 
As to profiling, there's a big distinction between passive profiling and active profiling. I suppose passive profiling is sort-of OK. A petite, young black woman driving fast is, maybe, more likely to be dangerous than a portly older gentleman with a beard, driving at the same speed. But active profiling is, in my view, utterly wrong. To stop a young black woman, alleging an "offence," when the same cop would have ignored the portly older gentleman doing the same thing, is wrong in my view.  Everyone is supposed to be equal before the law! And to stop someone (apparently) from Houston, when the cop would not have stopped his next door neighbo(u)r for doing exactly the same thing, is wrong too.
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 4:30pm
Neil, I don't think we're too far off from each other.
 
First, let me say I believe the "revenue" thing you describe is indeed prevalent... BUT I don't think that's what happened here.  Why?  If that where the case, he'd have simply pulled me over and given me the ticket.  Not spend quite a bit of time trying to assess the situation. 
 
Neil >> "57 in a 55" is weird.
 
Exactly.  But my point being, the officer never intended to give me a ticket for "57 in a 55"; that was simply the "broken windows" (as Thomas puts it) chosen as an excuse to stop me.  His intent was to gain access to me so as to better ascertain who I was and what I was doing.
 
Neil >> As to profiling, there's a big distinction between passive profiling and active profiling...
 
I understand your concern and the tool of profiling should be checked but...  I say profiling is OK when those who belong to the profile have a significant statistical propensity to be up to no good.  So if bald, bearded, portly, older, gentlemen are hijacking airplanes... concentrate on them, profile them, and spend less of your effort on those who statistically don't hijack airplanes.
 
And... if young black women from Houston are running drugs through a particular stretch of highway, prevalence is also warranted in this case; as happened to me.  If and when you notice that Hassidic Jews from Dallas seem to be breaking bad... switch the profile.
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 4:32pm
TBH... I understand your position on alcohol/weed.  I partake in one and not the other and never to excess.  As for the other, I've never tried it and never will; simply because the high does not appeal to me (oh… and it’s illegal here).
 
I also sympathize with your concerns with 4th Amendment abuse.  We're just a bit apart on the definition of reasonable.  My ten minutes and a few questions didn't cross the line in my opinion.
 
I can see you have a bad taste for cops and I can't share it.  My experience (for the most part) with police officers has been professional and positive.  While I expect that there is an us vs them mentality, I don't think it's as prevalent as you do; just as I don't think "driving while black" is really that prevalent.
 
I agree that I don't want to hear any whining about the dangers of the job.  It's a choice.  Make it and live with it or do something else.  That can be said for any profession.
 
At the same time, society is putting a certain degree of trust in such individuals.  When you take such a job your saying that you're willing to walk into that school when bullets are flying in hopes of saving others.  If you're not willing to do that... find something else to do.
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 4:33pm
William >> My buddy ... chainlink fence... fireworks... PROFILED!
 
Yeah... the MOST profiled group in society... DUMBASSES. :)
Katharine Otto Added Sep 21, 2018 - 5:15pm
TexasLynn,
Thanks for clearing up my confusion.  I was going to ask if you knew the man in your avatar and if you had his permission to use his picture.  
 
I do not agree that the police have a right to profile someone who is obeying the law.  That is called government spying, and it's one of the reasons the police have such a bad reputation.   I understand they will increase penalties if you don't play their games, to some extent, but too many law-abiding citizens are willing to kiss up and allow the abuse to happen.  It only makes it harder for the next guy who comes along.
 
I cannot hide my contempt for those who are behaving like assholes, which I consider abuses of their professional roles.  It has gotten me in trouble, but they are experiences to write about, someday. 
Thomas Sutrina Added Sep 21, 2018 - 9:28pm
I was commenting on your story.  You set your cruise control and I can not think of why with a policeman following you that you would set it above the speed limit.  So were you speeding prior?  Tell us. 
 
The  policeman was following an out of county license plate.  So he could have been waiting for the data from the state.  You made being knowledgeable about the local secretes important.  And then said you got a warning.   You had a reason one can assume and that would be because outsiders get treated differently.
TexasLynn Added Sep 21, 2018 - 10:29pm
Thomas >> So were you speeding prior?  Tell us.
 
No, not to the best of my knowledge.
 
So, tell me... do you trust radar detectors to be 100% accurate?  Or cruise controls?  Thus, is it possible that neither I nor the trooper were mistaken... to the best of our knowledge?
 
Had he simply pulled me over and given me a ticket for 2 mph over the speed limit, I would have chalked it up to revenue generation.  I surmised profiling because that didn't happen... and because the officer asked several uncommon questions. 
 
I am open to any other explanation, preferably backed up with some logical analysis.
 
I further surmised he was getting a feel for who I was and what I was doing and once he was satisfied I was not blowing smoke up his ass (which is what a nervous criminal would have done), he dismissed me to continue on.
 
That is simply my assessment based on the data I have and shared.
 
Thomas >> The  policeman was following an out of county license plate.  So he could have been waiting for the data from the state.
 
I agree... as I detailed in my story, he tailed me for several miles and only made the decision to pull me over when I was about to reach an intersection with another highway.  I suspect he was gathering information during that time; my address, prior record, etc...  And something he got back made him flip on those lights.
 
I assess the biggest factor in the data he received was... Houston.
 
Thomas >> You made being knowledgeable about the local secretes important. 
 
Secrets?  No.  Common knowledge; like school mascot and local industry... yes.
 
The point wasn't that I was local, the point was that I proved my story to be true.  I think a different story equally believed would have equally sufficed.  The officer wasn't trying to figure out if I was local.  He was trying to figure out if I was engaged in criminal activity by seeing how comfortable I was with the information I was giving him.
 
For example, had I told him I was in the area working the oil and gas fields, he might have asked me what part of the county was I currently working and for what company.  Simply questions with simple answers.  If I quickly answer the Sabine Pass and Devon Energy that gives credence to my story.  If instead I answer "hamana-hamana-hamana"... not so much.
 
Thomas >> And then said you got a warning.
 
Once he was satisfied that I was not doing whatever he suspected (probably moving drugs) he let me go.  Again, nothing to do with local boy/girl, everything to do with my story being credible.
 
Thomas >> [He] had a reason one can assume and that would be because outsiders get treated differently.
 
Yes, and no.  IMO
 
Yes, in that the profile was more specific, meaning, Houston.  Why?  Because statistically, Houston was a key part of the pattern being used.  I fit the pattern that dictated more scrutiny.
 
No, in that the profile (I think) was not overall "outsiders" (missing the Houston component).  Had his computer said I was from another town an hour up the road, I don't think he would have pulled me over.  Why.  Because people from the town up the road weren't the ones statistically more probable of moving drugs.
 
Again, the point of my post is that such profiling is logical, useful, and acceptable.  This coming from one who was subjected to it.  One may agree or disagree with that opinion.
 
Thanks for the comments and the opportunity to clarify.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 21, 2018 - 11:18pm
Again, the point of my post is that such profiling is logical, useful, and acceptable. 
 
This is the result of the indoctrination suffered by those who have been damaged by the imaginary guy in the sky nonsense and the criminals who pound the pulpits. 
 
It's a shame. Really. 
 
I'm with Katharine on this topic. 
 
Katharine Otto Added Sep 21, 2018 - 11:40pm
Thanks, Jeffry.
TexasLynn,  Now that I know you are not a young, petite, black female, your story makes more sense.  It seems that men get harassed by police more than women, because of what other commentators have written above.  
 
The airport security stories are particularly troubling.  On my last airplane trip, in 2003, airport security almost made me miss my flight, because they were being obnoxious, and I was being "disrespectful."  I decided never to fly commercial again, until the TSA is abolished, and I haven't flown. 
 
I read a NYT article recently that said the CDC stopped incoming passengers on planes in NYC who were coming from hajj, the annual pilgrimmage to Mecca by Muslims.  There were claims of illness and flu suspected, so everyone had to go through a health check before leaving the terminals.  Before the planes arrived, the CDC profiled the passengers by looking at travel histories.   The NYT and CDC think this is a good thing, but it's yet another reason for me to stay grounded.
Leroy Added Sep 22, 2018 - 8:22am
"I am open to any other explanation, preferably backed up with some logical analysis."
 
Most cops allow a margin of error, usually, at that speed, 7 MPH around here and for good reason.  If you change to a different tire, it can affect the speed indication.  Even wear or inflation can affect the speed reading.  Cruize control can affect how closely the speed is regulated but it is the vehicle that indicates the speed.  The calibration of the speed detection device and the weather can affect the reading.  I once had a colleague get out of a speeding ticket by asking the officer to point his device at a tree to see how fast it was traveling.  I forget how fast the tree was moving but the officer conceded that the tree was not speeding. 
TexasLynn Added Sep 22, 2018 - 9:33am
JG >> This is the result of the indoctrination suffered by those who have been damaged by the imaginary guy in the sky nonsense and the criminals who pound the pulpits.
 
OOOOK?  What does my belief in God have to do with my position of profiling?  I don't see the correlation; unless the point is "People who disagree with my position are stupid and I think people who believe in God are stupid."
 
JG >> I'm with Katharine on this topic.
 
Fair enough.  I can respect that stance on the issue.  When I wrote this, there was no doubt many would disagree.
 
I can also easily see those believing in God also ageing with you guys.
TexasLynn Added Sep 22, 2018 - 9:33am
KO >> TexasLynn,  Now that I know you are not a young, petite, black female, your story makes more sense. 
 
Whoaaa... Your words, not mine. :)  Personally, I find that young, petite, black females make total sense all the time. :)
 
I'm sorry I may not have been perfectly clear and gave the impression this was a local vs outsider issue.  In my mind it was clear the officer was simply trying to test my story as he would have any explanation given.  I suspect officers do that all the time.  It's one reason they separate passengers, so they can see if the stories match.
 
Isn't that the kind of thing Rick W was talking about above when he said "What we should do is what the Israelis and Saudis do. Interviews. Real people — sharp people, not mouth breathers — asking questions and applying intelligence and skill. That’s what finds terrorists, not body scanners. Just ask El Al. Safest airline on Earth."
 
KO >> It seems that men get harassed by police more than women, because of what other commentators have written above. 
 
I know I've heard a lot of stories about women getting out of tickets.  I rarely hear such a story from a man.
 
I don't think this scenario counts in that it was obvious from the beginning that a ticket was not warranted... and like I said "The popo don't cut TexasLynn no slack..." :)
 
KO >> The airport security stories are particularly troubling.
 
I must admit that I don't fly very often; and one reason is the hassle from both the TSA and the airlines.  It's just not worth it.  That said, when I do fly, a bad experience is more common that a good one.
 
As for a few experiences... I have missed flight because of TSA incompetence (even after giving myself well over an hour to get through security and NOT during peak travel day).  There there was that "random" harassing of the old man... the experience was unreal.
 
There is simply very little common sense applied to air travel these days... but I guess that not the only thing.
TexasLynn Added Sep 22, 2018 - 9:33am
Leroy >> Most cops allow a margin of error, usually, at that speed, 7 MPH around here and for good reason. 
 
That's what I've heard, which is why I'll sometimes push it on long trips. :)  But the policy is logical.
 
I appreciate your information supporting what I would just assume.  These tools (speed detectors, cruise controls) have margins of error.  Plus, there are other factors.
 
I don't think this was significant here... but I acknowledge that I can't say for sure.
Jeffry Gilbert Added Sep 22, 2018 - 9:43am
What does my belief in God have to do with my position of profiling?
 
You can be obtuse at times.
 
It has to do do with the acceptance of the indefensible. 
 
If you'll believe in an imaginary guy in the sky and rules it has purported to assign you, well, you'll also have a tendency to believe some government shithead wadding up the constitution is just okay too. 
 
Submission to authority figures. 
 
Leroy Added Sep 22, 2018 - 9:59am
"I don't think this was significant here... but I acknowledge that I can't say for sure."
 
If it went before a jury here, you would win your case.
Leroy Added Sep 22, 2018 - 10:24am
I see in the news where welfare recipients were profiled.  Outrageous!  They were followed into strip clubs where they used their food stamps to pay for lap dances.  The strip club lost its license.  This is outright discrimination and a clear case of profiling welfare recipients.  It's their food stamps and they should be allowed to spend it any way they want.  
Neil Lock Added Sep 22, 2018 - 1:48pm
In the UK we have had for many years (and as far as I'm aware, still do have) a 10% margin for speeding "offences"; from way back in the days when speedometers were systematically inaccurate. So, in order to be convicted of speeding in (say) a 60mph limit, you need to be doing 66+. On the other hand, we have cameras everywhere to catch us out; a little different from the US, where it's up to the cops.
 
Both, of course, are immoral. I say again: The right question is, "Is this guy driving dangerously for this situation?"
 
And Leroy: I like your sense of humo(u)r.
TexasLynn Added Sep 22, 2018 - 7:34pm
JG >> You can be obtuse at times.
 
If I only had a nickel every time I heard that... :)
 
I'll have to continue (being obtuse).  Historically the authoritarian and abusive regimes have rejected the "imaginary guy in the sky" while the freest have been those based on ... Judeo-Christian principles.
 
Me sacrificing ten minutes of my time slightly pales in comparison to the tens of millions dead at the hands of those who decided men (they) are as close to a god as it gets.
TexasLynn Added Sep 22, 2018 - 7:34pm
Leroy >> If it went before a jury here, you would win your case.
 
Of course, but speeding was never going to go to court.  That was never the intent.  At worst, the officer was going to become suspicious enough to search my vehicle.  His suspicion redressed... it never came to that.
 
Leroy >> I see in the news where welfare recipients were profiled.  Outrageous!  They were followed into strip clubs...
 
Was that recent?  I think I remember something like this a few years ago.
 
When I was involved in retail, the cash exchange rate for food stamps was 2-1.  Not that we did that... it was just common knowledge.  This was in the old days with the paper "coupons".  But, from what I understand, that's still the going rate today.
 
I wonder what the lap dance to welfare dollar exchange rate is. :)
 
Oh yeah... when I lived in Houston I lived near the Astrodome when all the Katrina refugees showed up.  One day I stopped by Walmart on the way home from work and... the store was packed with people buying crap... TVs, stereos, sneakers... crap.  The checkout lines were 10 to 15 deep.  I looked in disbelief for a few minutes and just turned around and went home.  Get home.. turn on the TV... and learned… all the refugees have been given cash for one reason or another... It was eye opening...
 
Somebody should have profiled the lot of them before handing them any amount of cash. :)
TexasLynn Added Sep 22, 2018 - 7:35pm
Neil >> In the UK we have had for many years (and as far as I'm aware, still do have) a 10% margin for speeding "offences"
 
We kinda do to... but it's more an unwritten rule.  Like I said, I was never going to get a ticket for speeding.  Now, had a been an asshole, I might have gotten a ticket for that.  It might have said "57 in a 55" but...
Katharine Otto Added Sep 22, 2018 - 9:35pm
TexasLynn,
I think you misunderstood my comment about your story making more sense now that I know you're not a young, petite, black female.  I meant that it's easier to imagine a man getting that kind of treatment from a policeman than a woman, especially a young, black, petite female.
TexasLynn Added Sep 22, 2018 - 10:41pm
KO >> I think you misunderstood my comment...
 
My apologies.  I suspect my misunderstanding makes me a bit sexist, then. :)
 
KO >> I meant that it's easier to imagine a man getting that kind of treatment from a policeman than a woman, especially a young, black, petite female.
 
Sorry, I still don't follow.  Must be that obtuse thing again.  You're saying an officer would not try to ascertain if the woman's explanation was truthful?  If so why?  If not that... then what?
Katharine Otto Added Sep 22, 2018 - 11:22pm
TexasLynn,
No, I'm suggesting it wouldn't get that far.  I just wonder how long a policeman would follow a woman who is not doing anything obviously wrong.  It seems that's more of a guy thing.
TexasLynn Added Sep 23, 2018 - 7:55am
Ahhhh.... Got it.
FacePalm Added Sep 24, 2018 - 8:44am
Katharine-
Some guys will follow women for a long time for no reason; they're called "stalkers."  Some are creepy cops; some are creepy lawyers; some are just creepy.  FMO, never a good idea to follow them around, even if you're married to the one in question.
 
TL-
Perhaps more apropos to this story, you may wish to look up the legal meaning of the word "vehicle."  "Motor vehicle," too - not the dictionary definition, the "legal" definition.  i'd say the chances are quite high that you don't perambulate in one now, and may only have rarely done so in the past, unless you needed a CDL, which may give you a clue.

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