Free Minds & Free Markets

Brickbat: Relying on Guesswork

ConfusionDaniil Peshkov / Dreamstime.comA new California law requires law enforcement officers to record the age, gender, sexual orientation, and race of anyone they stop. The catch? They can't ask the person any questions about those characteristics and they can't use the person's driver's license or any other documents to gather that information. They can only go by their perceptions. The law is aimed at curbing racial or other types of profiling.

Photo Credit: Daniil Peshkov /

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  • Deconstructed Potato||


  • Rat on a train||

    What about religion, political party, cup size, favorite color?

  • gaoxiaen||

    How about favorite cup size?

  • Rat on a train||


  • Conchfritters||


  • MatthewSlyfield||

    Any as long as they are naked?

  • Echospinner||

    For one dollar then.

    Fool the guesser.

    Wait this is a profit scheme! I am shocked.

  • Miter Broller||

    Maybe law enforcement should also be required to guess their names and prior criminal history as well, since those could also lead to profiling. No one creates more dunces than Caltopia!!!

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    surnames can certainly indicate race and country of origin. So you're right, we can't use that.

  • Deep Lurker||

    Actually this makes sense. If the purpose is to identify and curb profiling, then it's the cop's perception of the person's race, gender, age, etc. that matters, rather than the classification on the person's driver's license or what the person self-identifies as.

  • Cyto||

    A person of over 21 years of age, of indeterminate gender and sexual orientation, with medium skin tone was operating the vehicle in light to medium traffic during clear weather.....

  • Still Curmudgeoned (Nunya)||

    So you're saying my defendant could've been anyone, officer?

  • Mickey Rat||

    Another example of California government gone stupid trying to solve a problem in a way that makes no sense

  • Mickey Rat||

    Besides, are we not supposed to believe all those characteristics are only social constructions that a person has to affirmatively identify with?

  • Eddy||

    "Hmmm, I beat this guy up pretty bad. I better record his race as white, so it won't look like profiling."

  • Necron 99||

    This just in, police now beating white people at a record pace.

  • loveconstitution1789||


  • Fist of Etiquette||

    This one is actually hilarious.

  • Griffin3||

    "do you prefer fried chicken, chorizo or mayonnaise?"

  • Conchfritters||


  • Brandybuck||

    Three great flavors, together at last!

  • A Lady of Reason||

    Whatever happened to the doctrine of NOT assuming any of the above just by eyeballing someone??? Sure way to cause more offense in the long run, not less!!!

  • Fist of Etiquette||



    "We're looking for facts but the facts we're looking for is the officer's perception and the circumstances surrounding the stop and the outcome of it," Kocurek said. "The perception precedes the action of stopping a person."

    So the idea is actually correct for their stated goals. It doesn't really matter what a stopped person actually is. It's what the officer believes and is therefore supposedly acting on that makes a difference in a study on profiling. On the other hand, the subjects of their study are the ones gathering the data, so...

  • Dan S.||

    "The perception precedes the action of stopping a person."

    Does this Kocurek person really believe that officers think about a person's sexual orientation before stopping that person for a traffic offense, let us say?

  • Rat on a train||

    The way he was weaving through traffic was so gay. He was also driving a VW Beetle.

  • JWatts||

    Well it wasn't a Subaru. So he can't have been that gay.

  • Kristian H.||

    "The law is aimed at curbing racial or other types of profiling."

    "They can't ask the person any questions about those characteristics and they can't use the person's driver's license or any other documents to gather that information."

    You can't ask for the truth, but only enter 'facts' based on looks? And, that is supposed to STOP profiling based on looks? Wut?

  • creech||

    Yes, looks are so important. My wife's uncle (dark skinned 100% German descent) was determined to be a "mulatto" according to the official who registered him for the draft in WWI. Later, when he actually served, he was Caucasian.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Just write straight, white, middle age male on all of them. Get officer of the year.

  • Ray McKigney||

    This is the credited response.

  • JWatts||

    "Straight, white, middle age male, looked like there used be a Trump sticker on the bumper. Let him go with bruising and not more than 1 broken bone as a warning."

  • Longtobefree||

    Well, after all, why shouldn't the officers feelings be as valid as the feelings of the alleged guilty accused?

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    What happens when the officer "misgenders" a transgender person? Some transgenders are very touchy about that.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Ich bin ein Berliner!

  • Conchfritters||

    Jelly donut?

  • Rat on a train||

    It's better than being a Wiener.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    No sexting!

  • markm23||

    A Wiener is a resident of Wiens, which English-speakers mispronounce as Vienna.

    If you're referring to a certain sexting Congressman, he was a Weiner, which is properly pronounced "whiner".

  • Conchfritters||

    This sounds like the California census.

  • DajjaI||

    Police officers here in CA get just one arrest a day. Because after the arrest they have hours of paperwork. This requirement will only make things worse (and backfire as well). If you want to be hated and despised by a cop in CA, get arrested at the end of their shift.

  • TangoDelta||

    Depends on the cop. Many of them will happily accept the overtime pay. Especially the ones who aren't pulling down six figures in overtime.

  • Sevo||

    "The law is aimed at curbing racial or other types of profiling."

    There is, somewhere in the disaster known as the CA state government, someone who, with a straight-face made this claim.
    You really don't need to know any more about the CA state government than that.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    This could be an awesome game show.

  • AB Negative||

    Horribly misleading / click-bait framing and headline. If the point of this exercise is to monitor officer perception, not to catalog subjects, the information does not go to the state DOJ and is used for nothing other than data gathering to study officer perception, then it might be useful to learn something about profiling so it can be fixed. That's acknowledged in the final toss-off sentence, but up to that, the headline and tone suggest something entirely different. Sloppy.

  • cc2||

    The idea of racial profiling is so stupid with respect to cars. Pull up behind a car and tell me the race or even sex of the person driving. ha you can't see them. Or tinted windows. Or you are parked behind a sign and they go by at 80 so you chase them....THEN you find out who was driving.

    This is based on the false idea that cops stop young black men for no reason. Yes, sure there are a few bigoted cops but most stops of minorities are in violent neighborhoods. argh

  • Longtobefree||

    Sergeant Joe Friday spins in grave - - - - --


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