Profiling can keep us all safer

To the editor:

I was the the captain of an airliner hijacked out of Tampa years ago by someone who met our (hijacker’s) profile. A folding knife, hidden in his shoe, was missed. His Havana destination failed when he was subdued by passengers as we approached Cuba.

Mayors Giuliani and Bloomberg cut the murder rate from more than 2,000 down to about 300 per year using aggressive profiling. Today about 20,000 more men are alive in New York than would be the case if aggressive profiling had not been used?

Inner-city parents must be in utter dismay as less than ten percent of students in their schools score proficient in math and reading. Their graduating children become part of the uneducated, unqualified young people, especially males, who now have no alternative to the activities that are so prominent in our inner cities.

When I qualified for my driver’s license, 62 years ago, my father instructed me: “When stopped by the police you will respond yes sir, no sir and will comply with their requests.” Imagine, for a moment, the positive impact this would have on Black lives, and the rest of us, if this was followed by everyone.

We need to be sympathetic to Black people who are profiled and stopped for Driving While Black. However, this procedure keeps all of us safer, even when unwarranted in a particular case, and I would encourage this be accepted as a small price to pay that helps the police keep all of us safer.

Vern Clobes

Cocoa Beach, FL


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