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Racial profiling? Let me tell you something

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

A POLICE VETERAN WRITES: I had long hair when I was a teenager. I thought I was cool — all that stuff that comes with being young. I also remember walking with my friends and having people on the other side cross the street or hold on to their pocketbooks, or being followed in stores by security.

Did I cry about it?


Did I complain about it?


Did I laugh about it?


Y’know why? Because I knew I wasn’t a thug who robbed people or raped women. Because I knew, even then, that it’s a natural human response to fear people who are different or unexpected.

I worked for a amusement company when I was 18, fixing video machines, cigarette machines and jukeboxes. I had to go to Harlem, to the Bronx, for business. It seemed like I was pulled over EVERY time.

Why? Because I was a white guy in a black neighborhood. Since I “obviously” didn’t belong there, police thought I was buying drugs.

Racial profiling?

You bet your ass.

But did I cry about it or tell the NYPD they were stopping me because I was white?


I let them do what they had to do (search the van), then went back to work.

Today, every thing must be so politically correct, it’s sickening.

When I went to the Police Academy in 1983, the FBI taught us how to take notice of people who didn’t belong in certain areas. It was profiling — a very IMPORTANT tool in law enforcement.

Take NYC, for instance. All these high-crime neighborhoods have done nothing but complain for years that the police don’t show enough presence.

So what does the NYPD do? Its officers begin stopping and frisking people, looking to get the criminal element out of those areas.

So what do the assholes do? They complain that the people being stopped and frisked the most are minorities.


Who do you think lives in those areas? The same people who live in Beverly Hills?

I’m so tired of the complaining. The bottom line is: If you aren’t doing anything illegal, you have nothing to worry about.

It’s not the color of your skin or the way you smell. None of these complainers have ever been slaves or treated as such. The Italians were treated like dogs when they came to this country, but did they cry about it? Did they sit back and have everyone else take care of them?

No. They worked hard to become Americans.

That’s right: Americans.

Our President feels it necessary to tell everyone that he used to be followed and heard car doors lock when he walked by.

Well guess what? So did I.

I say: Do what I did. Get over it.

Joe Rao is a 27-year police veteran and retired North Bergen Police Department detective.

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