racial profiling

Local News
3:20 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Listen: In News Special, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Discusses Downtown Violence, Walmart and More

Greg Fischer
Credit Alix Mattingly/WFPL News

Mayor Greg Fischer joined us  Monday afternoon for an hour-long call-in special. He discussed the city budget, downtown violence (and the alleged racial profiling that followed in its wake), and other recent developments in Louisville.

Listen below:

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Local News
7:00 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Louisville Metro Police's Racial Profiling Study Expected To Be Released This Summer

Steve Conrad
Credit File photo

The results of a  year-long study to determine whether Louisville Metro Police officers racially profile when making traffic stops should be available “later this summer,” police officials said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict four young African-American men on multiple charges, including robbery, stemming from the March 22 mob violence in downtown Louisville.

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Local News
6:51 am
Mon October 28, 2013

In Kentucky, Number of People Claiming Discrimination Increases 30 Percent

Credit www.shutterstock.com

In the 2012-13 fiscal year, the number of people who contacted the Kentucky Human Rights Commission with possible discrimination incidents increased 30 percent compared to the same period a year before, according to an annual report.

The spike—3,020 to 2,231 in 2011-12—is attributed to the persistence of discrimination in Kentucky and also a marketing campaign that increased awareness of the commission's process, said Victoria Stephens, a spokeswoman for the state agency.

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Local News
6:00 am
Thu June 6, 2013

ACLU's Ezekiel Edwards: Scrapping Marijuana Laws the Way to Fix Racial Arrest Disparity

Ezekiel Edwards
Credit ACLU

The results from the ACLU's report saying that African-Americans are much more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession surprised the authors. 

They figured that a disparity would exist in the findings. And they were right. What they didn't expect to find is that the disparity existed across the country in many types of community—urban and rural areas, places with large and small African-American populations.

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Strange Fruit
11:36 am
Sat April 27, 2013

Strange Fruit: Who Counts as a Terrorist? (Hint: White Guys Don't)

Terrorist.

What image pops up in your mind when you hear that word? "When we think of the word 'terrorism,' most people get an image in their head of somebody who, of course, is a foreign national or somebody who's immigrated to the United States, who's Muslim, typically," explains clinical psychologist Dr. Kevin Chapman. "We think of things like violence. Guns. We think of airport screening."

Defining terrorism is challenging (even for the United Nations, apparently), but in common usage, it's an act of violence intended to intimidate or coerce, often for ideological reasons. The word itself has a long and emotional history, but this week, we were interested in how that word is applied, or not applied, following mass killings like the Boston bombing.

"We in America tend to react differently to terrorism depending on the ethnic, demographic, religious, and national profile of the alleged assailant," explains David Sirota. David is a political commentator who wrote a piece for Salon called Let's Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber is a White American. In it, he points out the double standard in public reaction to mass killings.

If the perpetrator is white, like in many recent shooting cases, it will be seen as an isolated incident, an aberration, possibly related to mental illness. We'll likely hear folks on TV mention how many hours a day the shooter spent playing video games. Any political fallout will probably be limited to gun control debate and will not involve taking action against the attacker's nation of origin, or adding surveillance against people who share his background. Or as Tim Wise wrote last week, "[I]f he's an Italian American Catholic we won't bomb the Vatican."

We spoke to Sirota this week about his piece, and the fallout from it. "My email box has been filled with the worst kind of anti-Semitic, racial epithets from the n-word to everything, for simply raising a point that should be obvious."

That reaction reveals just how deeply invested some folks are in their need to believe these acts are committed by people who are not like them. To understand what it is in our psychology that spurs this need to categorize "them" and "us," we called on friend to the show Dr. Chapman. "It's human nature to categorize, and unfortunately we dichotomize too often: ingroup, outgroup," he explains.  "We lump groups of individuals and profile them as a result, and that maintains our ingroup ideology."

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Politics
7:48 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Metro Police to Conduct Racial Profiling Study

Louisville Metro Police

The Louisville Metro Police Department will conduct a study to determine if officers are racially profiling residents when making traffic stops.

During the Metro Council budget hearings, Police Chief Steve Conrad testified that since being sworn-in he has been asked at several community meetings if officers pull over African-Americans more than whites.

Before city and county governments merged, the old city collected data on the race of individuals who were pulled over or detained, but quit analyzing the data after a few years.

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