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Archive for Friday, January 29, 2010

Lawrence police cite clerical errors as reason for both complaints of racial profiling in 2009

Lawrence police blame clerical errors on two complaints of race-based traffic stops reported to the agency in 2009, according to public reports released by the agency.

January 29, 2010

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Allegations by year

Racial profiling complaints reported to Lawrence police:

2006 - 1

2007 - 1

2008 - 0

2009 - 2

Related document

Annual Racial Profiling Complaint Report ( .PDF )

Lawrence police blame clerical errors on two complaints of race-based traffic stops reported to the agency in 2009, according to public reports released by the agency.

In both racial profiling reports filed last year, a driver was pulled over for driving with an expired license plate when it was actually valid.

“In both instances … in the computer system, it showed expired but it was later determined, through contacting the treasurer’s office, that it was not expired,” said Sgt. Bill Cory, Lawrence police spokesman.

Both drivers accused officers of being racist, complaints police administrators determined were unfounded.

In the first case, reported at the beginning of 2009, the officer said the driver was pulled over as a courtesy and “no enforcement action was anticipated,” according to the report. In the other case, reported in August, police said the officer could not have known the race of the driver before pulling the driver over.

Cory, who assists in investigating racial profiling complaints for Lawrence police, said it’s common for officers to run license plates through their computer system while they’re on patrol, to ensure they’re legitimate.

Douglas County treasurer Paula Gilchrist said the information in the state treasurer’s computer system was likely incorrect, because there’s sometimes a delay — as much as six weeks in some cases — between when someone updates their vehicle registration in the county treasurer’s office and when it shows up in the state database.

Gilchrist said a new Web-based system the state plans to implement next year will provide updates that will make the registration information law enforcement has access to more timely and accurate.

“That information should be updated real-time, so we’re excited about that,” Gilchrist said.

Cory said all complaints of racial profiling made to Lawrence police are investigated thoroughly and then sent to the department’s citizen review board, which was established after a 2005 state law required Kansas law enforcement agencies to file annual reports of complaints stemming from officers pulling someone over because of their race.

During the last four years, Lawrence police have received four racial profiling complaints, all of which were determined to be unfounded.

“It’s a practice we don’t tolerate in this department,” Cory said.

Comments

Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

"As recently as the 1960s blacks"

Ummm, don't you mean African Americans?

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Liberty275 4 years, 2 months ago

racist computers! They still have masters and slaves! It's proof!!!

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Joe Hyde 4 years, 2 months ago

The key part of this story is that the state will soon be implementing a web-based system that allows treasurer's offices in all Kansas counties to input vehicle registration information electronically. Once this system becomes operational all new vehicle registrations, registration transfers, lost and stolen tags, etc. will be available instantly on a statewide/nationwide computer access database to patrol officers everywhere. The result will be a dramatic improvement in the "accuracy" of traffic stops, in terms of officers having the latest information available relevant to who is supposed to be driving that vehicle.

It should not be overlooked that the seemingly humble clerk we deal with at our local county treasurers office is a person who is as vital to law enforcement as the best-trained and best-intentioned police officer. So much of law enforcement work revolves around vehicle stops and verifying the legitimacy of persons operating and occupying vehicles. County treasurers office clerks toil daily, unsung in an occupation that is critical to law enforcement. These people are center-tread occupants "where the rubber meets the road".

Once the registration entry work these clerks do starts being entered daily into a real-time database accessible by authorized personnel, we will all be safer and much better served by law enforcement.

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mropinion 4 years, 2 months ago

r you people bored LPD THERE IS NO RACIAL PROFILING IN LPD DEPARTMENT WELL U GUY GET SOME HELP LPD HA HA HA LOL...

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grammaddy 4 years, 2 months ago

Great post Smitty! Very enlightening! I didn't realize this stuff went on in these"post-racial times". lol

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smitty 4 years, 2 months ago

Lawrence Police Spokesman, Chris Mulvenon, responds to the Wall Street Journal Article, with an article in Kansas Police magazine.....

WALL STREET JOURNAL ARTICLE August, 1990, the Wall Street Journal published an article by Ann Hagedorn regarding the unexplained deaths of Native Americans in Lawrence. Hagedorn expressed the fear that many in the community believe the deaths were at the hands of a "Serial Killer." This lead to an article published in the Kansas Police magazine by Chris Mulvenon, Spokesman for the Lawrence Police Department, who joked about the situation saying, "In truth, the only evidence pointing to a serial in these deaths was cereal malt beverage."

Olin co-authored that article.

Mysogynism..... try finding the story where a native woman hired by the LPD after the killing of Sevier( to equalize the racial ratio) that quoted Olin's demeaning sexist comments about her woman's work with children. A racist will most be a sexist, too, with the same arrogance of superiority.

Since the chief of police is racist and sexist, why won't the entire department follow his example with no fear of retribution?

Take note that the Chamber of Commerce(JW, today) is again promoting our corrupt chief of police. Wonder if the CC has an explanation of why commissioner Amyx explained that Olin and the LPD's investigation by a higher outside authority is being handled through the city manager's office as a confidential personnel issue?

Every so often the CC finds it necessary to promote Olin for purposes of public relation repairs for the city's reputation, as is this so called recognition.

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4rmSouthern2Midwest 4 years, 2 months ago

All I know is I'm african american and I'm in the workforce.....so enough of the lame talk pertaining to not having jobs. Understand this when u live in a small town such as Lawrence, thinking outside the box is a difficult task for some. When I lived in Lawrence, hell all races where suffering financially so stop making it seem as if african americans are the only race on the unemployment list. Where I'm from (N. Texas) all races are flourishing!!! When you judge races according to what you've seen in Lawrence I find that rediculous. For the record let me sum up Lawrence a small city full of drugs, liquor stores on every corner, a bunch of wanna be gangsters, and a HIV rate that's rising fast!!! Oh yeah I can't 4get the over priced homes...lol. I paid $172,000 for a 5bdrm 3 bth 4,200 sq ft. here in Grand Prairie, Tx. look at the crap in Lawrence and they want double or even triple.

Werner Enterprises....home of some great drivers....KEEP ON TRUCKING!!!

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PLKaws23 4 years, 2 months ago

Ok so i didnt watch the video, and maybe i just over looked it in the article, but why is this racial profiling case being chalked up as a white cop with black victims? And believe it or not, there sometimes is a delay with updating the registration on a vehicle. A delay that works both ways.

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yankeevet 4 years, 2 months ago

I was pulled over also on Iowa cause I be white.............sure thats it.......or could it be i was speeding 50 in a 40; and the officer was correct and very professional...........Lawrence police are just doing their job and are very professional; courteious; etc...........

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 2 months ago

Pywacket (Anonymous) says… "...How's that? "

Give yourself an "A" for the day.

I do think the distinction is important. Racism is usually based on total ignorance. Profiling could be based on perceived knowledge. It could even be a point of view issue. That is, it is profiling when it happens to someone else; it is racism when it happens to me.

Anyway thanks for the clarification.

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lawthing 4 years, 2 months ago

Rapper music big rims and a blonde in the car will guaruntee a clerical error everytime!

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lawrenceguy40 4 years, 2 months ago

Were they driving with their blond girlfriends? That really ticks off LPD......

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lawthing 4 years, 2 months ago

the complaints download looks likes it came from the Lawrence Police. So who investigated the complaint?

The same cop the complaint was against?

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Pywacket 4 years, 2 months ago

Did_I_say_that~ Good question.

I turned to Merriam-Webster and a couple other trusted sources to see what they had to say. Definitions give quite a bit of leeway, depending on your source (e.g., "..the act of suspecting or targeting a person....etc..."), so, technically, I think I can get away with that sentence. ;-)

In the interest of precision, however, we could say that a cop pulling someone over for no good reason (no speeding, running lights, etc., but who might be suspected--due to race--of having drugs, expired license, etc.) would be an example of "racial profiling," while (from the other example) the cop pulling over only the white speeder, when everybody else is speeding too, would be a better example of racism.

How's that?

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lawthing 4 years, 2 months ago

So the white people get arrested on clerical errors or is it just reserved for the black people?

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Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 2 months ago

lawrence needs a citizens police review board made up of community members. then I am sure these "clerical errors" wont happen anymore

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Alexander Neighbors 4 years, 2 months ago

yea sure blame the computer ....... some lawrence police have a racial issue this has been going on for a long time now.

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equalaccessprivacy 4 years, 2 months ago

I experience Lawrence as a scarily narrow-minded, bigoted place where complete strangers aggressively regard and treat others according to offensive,one-dimensional stereotypes. If a conflict arises due to such treatment the copslikely will likely take the harasser's side. It's illegal not to investigate complaints of discriminatory harassment under color of law,, but KU cops don't bother.No need to I guess with that hillbully, whitebutt KU legal counsel they have up there.

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thebcman 4 years, 2 months ago

That's why I always carry some extra doughnuts in the car.

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Number_1_Grandma 4 years, 2 months ago

Well said Pywacket....I agree completely!

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Benjamin Roberts 4 years, 2 months ago

"And, rando? if a black cop pulls you over for some trumped-up BS (or targets you for speeding, after ignoring 10 black drivers who just blew your doors off) and starts giving you a hard time, yes, it is possible you could be a victim of racial profiling."

Not to argue, but wouldn't that be racism as opposed to profiling?

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Pywacket 4 years, 2 months ago

sunny, you are totally clueless if you think racial bias doesn't STILL give whites an advantage in the job world, housing, and in many other areas of life. As recently as the 1960s blacks were still LEGALLY excluded from many aspects of the American dream. Legal gains have been hard-fought and enforcement has been difficult. Bigots learned to lie about why they weren't hiring blacks or selling them houses, or whatever the case may be. This is one reason so much affirmative action law (which was always imperfect) was enacted--to try to counterbalance the known bias toward whites--not to give blacks an advantage OVER whites. Systematic exclusion of blacks was entrenched and insidious in every aspect of life.

Companies owned by whites (and most, by far, were) would almost always give the job to a mediocre white over the most brilliant and accomplished black applicant. Blacks who attained any level of affluence were barred from living in the nicer (whiter) parts of town, joining the country club, sending their kids to certain schools or pools or clubs. And on and on.

Do you REALLY think the playing field has totally leveled out after centuries of slavery followed by reconstruction, resentment, jim crow, and virulent anti-black legislation and cultural biases? Really?

I can't comment on racial profiling with the LPD specifically, but there is plenty of evidence that it is still widespread in other PDs in this country.

And, rando? if a black cop pulls you over for some trumped-up BS (or targets you for speeding, after ignoring 10 black drivers who just blew your doors off) and starts giving you a hard time, yes, it is possible you could be a victim of racial profiling.

But lawrence citizen, if another black cop pulls YOU over for doing 47 in a 30 and running a stop sign, you probably are not being profiled. You are probably being charged, fairly, for traffic violations.

See how that works? Any other questions? I suspect all 3 of you are the types who long for the "good ol' days" in the 50s, when blacks "knew their places" and didn't challenge the white man's "right" to the choicest spoils in American life. People like you always crawl out of the cracks in the floor and make the same predictable comments whenever there's an article about racial issues.

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Randall Barnes 4 years, 2 months ago

SO IF A BLACK COP PULLS ME OVER CAN I FILE A COMPLAINT ? WELL OF COURSE I WOULDN'T JUST NWONDERING IF IT WOULD WORK.

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sunny 4 years, 2 months ago

and they can't find jobs because of it either!

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lawrence_citizen 4 years, 2 months ago

Racial profiling is alive and well in Lawrence. I was pulled over because I'm white. He said it was because I was doing 47 in a 30 and ran a stop sign, but I know better.

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