The Corner

When Race Is Relevant

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning on the arrest of 14 people in Hollywood “after marauding bands of young people conducted a string of robberies, assaults and acts of vandalism along Hollywood Boulevard.” Many more suspects remained at large, the Times said.

For those among the Times’ readership who might have been curious about the description of these “young people” so as to avoid falling victim to them, none was provided. Or at least not directly. The paper offered a hint as to the suspects’ description when it reported on two men stopped and questioned in connection with the crimes. 

At a Hollywood intersection where officers were awaiting instructions on where to respond, the story told of “two young black men [who] were detained in handcuffs before being released with the terse explanation that they had mistakenly been stopped because they matched the general description of the robbers.”

So, to the journalists at the L.A. Times, the race of two men detained but released by the “terse” police officers is relevant to the story, but not so that of the outstanding suspects. I await the Times’ story on the “racial profiling” lawsuit sure to follow.

— Jack Dunphy is an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department. “Jack Dunphy” is the author’s nom de cyber.

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