Tuesday, March 22, 2011


By: Frank Carbone

       On March 15th, last Tuesday, the Daily News ran an article a front page article by Marc Lamont Hill that will be the reason I never buy that "news" paper again.  Mr. Hill. told his tragic tale of being a victim of racial profiling.  Mr. Hill was dropping a friend of one night in the lovely Logan section of the city.  Mr Hill happens to have a nice new BMW and dresses nice so of course he is a target by the PPD.
 "Police Officer Richard DeCoatsworth -hailed as a hero when he survived a gunshot blast to the face in 2007" happens to be the "Latino Officer" who eventually pulls Mr. Hill over.  I'll let you read the rest.

Please click here:

Really? "I silently prayed that I would make it home that night alive. After all, for blacks, our behavior does not merely determine whether we get a ticket or a verbal warning. It determines whether we live or die." Really?  That is ludicrous.  Maybe, because I'm white I don't understand if that's the case I encourage my fellow students to shed some light on that feeling for me.  I know that if I'm driving a nice car around in a bad neighborhood at night that there is a chance that I'll get pulled over because I look suspicious.  Totally understandable, it looks like I'm looking to buy drugs or up to something worse so if I get pulled over I would not be confrontational with the Police and I certainly would not fear for my life.

                                                     The hero cop in question.

   Please read the article, I don't want to rewrite it and bore you with a huge post. I just thought it was an interesting story that kind of related to the white criminal black criminal story of profiling. I am also including two more links from follow up articles from both sides of the story.




  1. Im sorry but this Officer DeCoatsworth, is a jerk. I don't think he should be label a hero anymore. Thats just what I feel, after this incident.

  2. Frank, I'm sorry but it's because your white. Police officers can be very aggressive! They originated from gangs. Dark window tint makes them react wildly. They have their fingers on the trigger when they attempt to pull certain people over. I don't panic, nor do I feel as though it's a life or death situation, but I know for black men it can be! Great post Frank!-Dominique Empson

  3. I went on the link and read the article. Unfortunately I am a bit confused about this. What does the officer Richard DeCoatsworth, has to do with this. The man who got stopped was a black man? Why did they stop him?

  4. Important (and timely, as we will cover race in a few weeks) topic.

    When reading the original article, pay particular attention to the second half of "page 2." It begins with: "This is bigger than me and Officer DeCoatsworth. I did it for the thousands of black men in Philadelphia and other cities around the country who are victims of repressive (and illegal) law-enforcement policies like Mayor Nutter's "Stop and Frisk" program, which trades our constitutional rights for the illusion of public (read: white) safety."

    We can discuss this point in class. Think about how this is a structural (rather than individual) issue.

    Thanks for sharing and encouraging others to respond, Frank.

  5. Frank I think this was a good post. I feel that in Philadelphia a lot of the time police tend to in some sense "pick" on blacks particularly black males. Personally I do not come into contact with the police. I was pulled over once for "turning the corner too fast." In actuality it was because I was a young teen, driving at night in a black car with tinted windows, therefore I looked suspicious. Although, I feel as though, in most cases as long as your paperwork is legit and you are nice and respectable they become nice and it`s like a slap in the face to them.

  6. Frank great post but i believe in philadelphia most police officers dont ask questions they feel they have authority so they can do what they want thats why for black men in philadelphia it would be a life or death situation like dominique said some police officers take stuff to a little to far when it comes to their authority they have especially when it comes to enforcing it on or towards black males black males

  7. Lynzee Coble said...

    I hear Dominique's post in that my view as a white female is different than a black male's point of view.. I do have to say, however, that I have been pulled over and had cops approach me with their hands on a gun (for failed headlights none the less..). As much as I do think that racial profiling is an issue, I think that there are also issues of ego maniacal complexes, as well as shear fear that drives our police force. With Philadelphia previously being the murder capitol of the US as recently as 2007, and previously being the police murder capitol of the country, I can understand why the officer is precautions in pulling anyone over, and why guns are a necessary force for our police force, especially as an officer that has been shot before.

  8. I feel like your post is a great topic and one that will forever be important. In my opinion, Marc Lamont Hill is assuming that he was pulled over because he is black, and it could have been another reason entirely or no reason at all. I know that racism, descrimination, stereotyping, and racial profiling are all unfortunately still present in the world today. But that doesn't mean that everyone is a racist. He may be absolutely correct in his reasoning for the aggression he recieved from the police, but the way he goes on to speak for all black people and saying "After all, for blacks, our behavior does not merely determine whether we get a ticket or a verbal warning. It determines whether we live or die.", he seems like he might just be an extremely defensive, over-senative guy. Great post, but honestly this topic could go on forever and there may never be a right or wrong solution to an issue this big and important.

  9. While driving one night from my job in the northen section of Philadelphia I have been pulled over a handful of times for no reason at all! Now, I am white and female.. I believe that cops profile everyone especially when drving in a bad neighborhood at night. I was actually frisked one time and asked repeatedly if i was in that neighborhood to buy drugs. I think it is ridiculous that any officer should profile any race or car that is not their job.