Police Abuse

New Bill Calls for Police Stops in Missouri to Track Factors Like Religion, Sexual Orientation

Does your failure to yield make you look gay?

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Also facing a code enforcement violation for mismatched curtains.
"Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" Musical

Police already track race, age, and sex of citizens they detain or stop for possible crimes. Because they do so we actually are able to know as a fact that police stop blacks for citations and to question in numbers far greater than whites. In Missouri, particularly in St. Louis County, the problem was highlighted by protesters in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting. There, small municipalities got significant media attention due to the way they used police citations to milk the minority citizenry in order to make their budgets. As a result, the state passed a law capping the percentage of revenue for its budget that communities can get from traffic citations.

Now Missouri's chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), working with both a Democrat and a Republican state legislator in the St. Louis area, has introduced new legislation to expand what police officers will have to report about the people that they stop. Under this new legislation, introduced Tuesday, Missouri police would report for all traffic and pedestrian stops, "The perceived race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, English language proficiency or national origin of the individual stopped." That's a lot of stuff for the police to guess at. I look forward to police reports that note, "When asked if he knew how fast he had been traveling, subject responded, 'Girl, please.'"

The goal, the local ACLU head explained to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is to track down other forms of police bias in stopping people:

"There exists police bias across many categories," said ACLU-Missouri Executive Director Jeffrey Mittman, "and it's important to address them all." …

In 2014 in Missouri, according to the state's annual data, black drivers were 75 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites. Blacks and Hispanics also were more likely to be searched as a result of those stops — even though white drivers were more likely to be in possession of drugs, weapons or other illegal contraband.

The proposed legislation would impose a range of consequences for police departments that show a pattern of racial profiling, including added officer training requirements, state funding reductions and even department de-certification.

There's also another component to the ACLU's proposed Fair and Impartial Policing Act that doesn't get attention in the Post-Dispatch's reporting.

The act replaces the existing state law for reporting bias trends in stopping drivers and pedestrians. In addition to adding more minority categories to analyze and introducing state-level penalties, it also adds a section introducing liability, allowing citizens who believe they've been subjected to a bias-based police stops to sue for "compensatory and punitive damages; injunctive and declaratory relief; and other relief as a court deems appropriate." Actually, they don't have to necessarily prove to be a direct victim. An alternative action to create liability occurs when an individual or organization brings a case to prove a "disparate impact" on individuals based on perception of membership in any of the above-mentioned categories.

That sounds like an area where the ACLU is perfectly situated to get involved, doesn't it? It makes the proposal end up feeling like a bit of a mixed bag. Yes, we do want to find ways to make sure police are held responsible for abusive behavior, particularly where it's being enforced in expansive trends that essentially terrorize neighborhoods. But this also smacks of being a lawsuit generator with fairly lax thresholds.

Read the full law here and decide for yourself.

(Hat tip to Mark Sletten.)

NEXT: Why Isn't This TSA Agent Who Groped a 10-Year-Old Being Charged with Sexual Battery?

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  1. Does your failure to yield make you look gay?

    No, just like an unnecessarily fussy bottom.

  2. Does your failure to yield make you look gay?

    No, it’s the mustache that does that.

    “Greendale needs a win. The best compliment our sports program gets is that our basketball team is really gay.”

    1. But your mom loves my mustache!

      1. That was my dad, dude.

        1. *shifts uncomfortably in chair*

          But, how the, wait…

          1. It’s simple, Doyers. My mom/dad is a hermaphrodite.

          2. The confusion is understandable. Most penii are “outies,” but males in Epi’s line all have “innies.”

            1. You don’t even want to know what happens when they get a boner.

              1. I forget the exact medical term, but it includes the word “prolapse.”

  3. But this also smacks of being a lawsuit generator with fairly lax thresholds.

    I am shocked!!!

    1. I see what you did there, Switzy.

  4. Uh, how the heck are they supposed to know your religion or sexual orientation? Is MO going to start putting that info on drivers’ licenses? I can see a few problems with that.

    1. Or the cops will just fill out reports: Black, Male, unknown, unknown, unknown, etc.

    2. This just in: ACLU calls for government to create a database of Muslims, until they can figure out what’s going on.

  5. The goal […] is to track down other forms of police bias

    …by making cops label anyone not carrying a brewski a “homosexual”?

    Yes, we do want to find ways to make sure police are held responsible for abusive behavior, particularly where it’s being enforced in expansive trends that essentially terrorize neighborhoods.

    How about we just ask police to stop harassing innocent people? I don’t think I like where this idea is going and frankly I don’t want cops pigeonholing me at all.

    1. Yeah, just wait until the cops have to start coloring in a one-to-ten scale on HOW gay you are.

      1. Coloring? Like a rainbow?

      2. Will there be a place on the scale for gayest monster since gay went to Gaytown? Because that’s important, for me at least.

        1. “Sarge, this one is a Caucasian, identifies as male, Epi on the Gay Monster scale, slight limp, speaks Esparanto and says xe is Episcopalian”

    2. Got something against a good ol American brewski, homo?

  6. Now Missouri’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), working with both a Democrat and a Republican state legislator in the St. Louis area, has introduced new legislation to expand what police officers will have to report about the people that they stop. Under this new legislation, introduced Tuesday, Missouri police would report for all traffic and pedestrian stops, “The perceived race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, English language proficiency or national origin of the individual stopped.

    I can’t believe the ACLU is behind this shit. Seattle started doing this many years ago, and there was a solid gold letter to the times that I wish I still had, where someone logically broke down how race might get perceived (or mis-perceived) and all the confusing subcategories of dark-ish southeast asian, hispanic yadda yadda.

    This goddamned knee-jerk progressive tendency to turn everything into identity turns on itself and eventually goes full retard.

    1. I’m also willing to believe racism might lead to some cops pulling over more black people but it’s impossible to tell if cops are doing that due to bigotry or if black people actually are more likely to commit obvious traffic infractions. African Americans have higher rates of crime in almost every other category, so it’s possible pulling more black people over could be due to more of them actually breaking traffic laws.

      It might be bigotry, but it’s literally impossible to prove either way unless you have the cop on record throwing the n-word around.

      1. African Americans have higher rates of crime in almost every other category, so it’s possible pulling more black people over could be due to more of them actually breaking traffic laws.

        Doesn’t matter, if they don’t pull over exactly as many white people, they are RACIST. Or at least the traffic laws are racist. Disparate impact, don’t you know.

      2. Michael Bloomberg tried this argument (as an excuse for stop’n’frisk) without much success.

        1. Well, the objection to stopping and frisking should never have been about race in the first place…

          1. Yeah, the problem was the violating the 4th amendment part, not the race part.

            1. Oh, that thing.

            2. The 4th amendment… *snickers* How quaint.

      3. but it’s impossible to tell if cops are doing that due to bigotry or if black people actually are more likely to commit obvious traffic infractions.

        Or if cops are more likely to pull over poor people driving crappy cars and black people are more likely to be poor people driving crappy cars.

        1. And if they are driving nice cars they must be drug dealers.

          1. Sounds legit.

      4. There are also some crimes (thinking drugs mostly) that white people commit just as much if not more than blacks that blacks get arrested for more. So it’s hard to say, particularly given how everyone commits traffic infractions almost daily and the amount of discretion police have in pulling people over.

        1. If white people don’t get arrested for it as much, how would you know they commit the crimes as much?

          1. I guess it depends on how much you want to believe drug use statistics.

            I suppose you could also ask the same thing about the statement that blacks commit crimes at higher rates than whites. How do we know white people don’t just get caught less?

            1. How do we know white people don’t just get caught less?

              This is an equally valid way to express the conundrum of extrapolating intent from outcomes.

            2. Maybe whites get caught less because they are smarter?
              Discuss

              (*runs away, hides behind tree and waits for reaction*)

              1. This is just personal observation, but there tends to be WAY more black people selling and using drugs out in the open. To me it just seems really stupid, but hoards of people sell drugs outside and the vast majority of those who do are black. But also, black people do tend to be pulled over or stopped and frisked more than white people, so…

        2. “There are also some crimes (thinking drugs mostly) that white people commit just as much if not more than blacks that blacks get arrested for more.”

          Even that’s hard to tell though. For example, I used to work sales in the inner city and you’d constantly see people just smoking weed on street corners. Maybe urban African Americans are more likely to get arrested for drugs because they’re more likely to flaunt drug use. Or because there’s more of a police presence in cities than in suburbs and rural areas.

          1. Crime rates have always been higher in urban areas and in poorer areas. Since blacks in the US presently tend to be more urban and poorer than whites, that confounds any attempt to prove racism by looking at the numbers alone.

        3. Where you do drugs matters. Drugs done in the middle of the suburbs out of site of the neighbors is nearly impossible to catch. Drugs done in inner city apartments where the neighbors and the landlord that wants you out can smell it are really easy to catch. I bet if you check trailer park whites are much more likely to get caught using drugs than normal whites.

  7. A lawsuit generator, indeed, and of course at the expense of the taxpayers. Who do we think will benefit from this? Not the minorities.

    Presumably it will surprise no one when the unintended consequences turn out to be worse than the problem this is intended to solve.

    1. A lawsuit generator, indeed, and of course at the expense of the taxpayers.

      That’s a feature not a bug.

      /ACLU

  8. I look forward to the Missouri Police Officer Training Manual that will work on honing the cops’ gaydar.

    “Section 3: How to tell if the blonde young man wearing a skintight speedo is gay or merely European.”

    1. With euros, it’s always the shoes that give it away.

      1. “Section 6: Using sobriety tests to check if the subject ‘walks gay.'”

        1. “I’m giving you a ticket, ’cause your shit’s all fucked up and you talk like a fag.”

          1. Except the reality’s going to be: “I’m not giving you this ticket because you’re gay.”

            1. “Because you’re gay and the city fears lawsuits.” Yep, sounds exactly right.

              1. “Look, brah. I told you I’m gay.”

                1. “We can’t ticket anyone because every driver we pull over claims they’re gay! I don’t want to look like a homophobe!”

                  1. Their original strategy was to demand blowjobs as proof, but apparently that was “illegal”.

                    1. It’ll be a informal survey:

                      “Now citizen, I have a night-stick, a taser, and a gun, before I decide which one to use, you need to tell me; Do you consider yourself white, white-hispanic, black, asian, or indian (dot or feather)?

                      Do you prefer the peter or the vaj?

                      And which religious figure do you consider to be the one true prophet?

                      Well, Sir, it looks like it’s your lucky day! I’ve already bagged my limit of your kind for the week. But don’t worry, I’ll see ya soon. Have a nice day!”

            2. Except the reality’s going to be: “I’m not giving you this ticket because you’re gay.”

              After being frisked, the phrase “He’s clean.” will come to note *both* innocent *and* gay.

              It’d be funny if replicating your own Y chromosomes naturally/producing sperm your own sperm from your own Y chromosomes/ having at least one biological penis of your own being a male and having any remotely sexual act with a female (or females) weren’t a de facto crime in some parts of the country.

  9. How the fuck do they expect someone to “perceive” my religion or national origin?

      1. Bar scanner tattoos on the neck and wrist… duh!

    1. ‘Cause you’re constantly ululating?

    2. Well, I presume they would make you wear arm bands. That’s how the socialist central European countries used to do it back in the 30’s and 40’s.

      1. You know who… oh, fuck it.

      2. Or maybe a patch, like a star or something….

      3. They had to know who the capitalists were.

    3. Your greasy swarthy WOP skin is a dead giveaway, Nicole. Plus it means you’re Catholic, of course.

      1. Unless you’re Sicilian, and then Dennis Hopper’s character from True Romance informs me that the entire bloodline was changed.

    4. Look Nikki, we have to encourage bias in order to uncover bias.

  10. “We assumed that this person was octoroon or whiter so we felt free to abuse him without being racists.”

    — Dispatches from the Future

  11. How will the cops determine sexual orientation? When they deliver motorists their routine assfucking, they’ll listen to whether the subject goes “Urgh!” or “Aahh”

  12. Reason number, oh, hell, who’s counting anymore, that I don’t support the ACLU.

  13. For some reason this strikes me as an absolutely terrible idea which will be both overly intrusive and as accurate as a shot out rifle barrel. It’s a public-private partnership of inept stupidity.

  14. Just wait until the popo have to note not only the sex of the person they pulled over, but also the gender. It will then render such statistics even more fudged and meaningless than they already are.

    1. “Sir, madam, or other – please check the gender and pronoun of your choice on this police report before I proceed to beat the shit out of you.”

  15. Finally, we’ll be able to expose the sexism of the police. Women should to be ticketed far more for true equality.

  16. So, this is going to be MadLibs policing, then. Could be lots of fun…

    1. Considering all the ‘crimes occurred, reports were filed, nothing else occurred’ reporting and off-the-books torture at black sites that goes on, some more actual reports that include blanks for [felony], [race], and [location] *could* be a step up.

  17. I get that officers will be able to detect lisps, but haven’t they consistently proven themselves incapable of discerning flippant hand gestures from furtive ones? Are lisps and gesticulating still a gay thing or was that just a fashion thing/social signalling fad?

    Aww… hell, it’d just be easier to stick with pulling over and arresting the obviously black guys and shooting them if make a stray gesture. Even at that, fuck the hand gestures, tell them to get on the ground and freeze, then shoot them if they move or resist movement.

  18. Are lisps and gesticulating still a gay thing

    Yes, but you won’t catch the butch ones that way.

    1. I’ve talked about this before, but in my non-scientifically observed circles of gay friends and acquaintances, there was a movement a few years ago where gay people were beginning to direct disdain at the overly affected ‘gay’ behaviors. Not sure if that was a thing or not.

      1. I only ask because we, in the last decade have had 3 kids and, in the last year or so, have gone to streaming TV and downloading movies. So, we have an interesting lens where we go through recent culture cleaving things like grunge, ebonics, etc. between fixed culture, cult, camp, fad, etc. both historically for ourselves and for our children.

        It’s fun, being white and straight, and having to explain/differentiate this from this this. I feel like I need an exhaustively permutated collection of blind and deaf, parents and kids to help me.

  19. “New Bill Calls for Police Stops in Missouri to Track Factors Like Religion, Sexual Orientation”
    I didn’t understand the title at first; I thought it meant that they wanted police to stop people in order to find out their religion or sexual orientation.

    Does this mean that police will now make many more stops of white people in order to average out their stops of black people?

  20. Provo PD paying millions in class action settlement for pulling over Mormons more than other 49 states.

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