Police report ‘racism’ is irrelevant

Focusing on racism in police reports doesn’t make our campus safer.

Patrick Hicks

Many of the letters submitted in the recent debate over racism in police reports have completely missed the point. In the guest column in MondayâÄôs Daily, the author seems to say that reports should not describe the suspects when a crime occurs, because when everyone is made aware of this basic information concerning the suspect, it promotes racism. The charge of racism would not have materialized unless there was something inspiring that fear already in place. There is: the crime itself, the real story. Now, one could describe the criminal suspects in any number of ways, but that would not change the fact that a crime has occurred. In light of the recent violence on and around campus, why are we debating something as futile as race? I read every campus alert sent to me, including suspect descriptions, but I donâÄôt clench my fists saying, âÄúAnother East African committed a crime.âÄù ThatâÄôs detrimental to our safety. It redirects our focus from the problem. Instead when I read these reports I just think to myself, âÄúAnother piece of scum has committed a crime.âÄù Notably, the suspect in the recent stabbing was a white male. A criminal is a criminal. Most of these crimes occur quickly, at night and make it difficult to catch the perpetrators. Thus, information is the best weapon we have. Who, what, where and when? Police not describing suspects accurately is the greatest thing a mugger could hope for and would be a huge step backward. I propose we step forward. The root of the problem is crime itself, and IâÄôm offended when I hear someone has been shot or stabbed in what I consider my home. We canâÄôt tiptoe around crime. It is what it is: an attack on our person by someone else. We have to do all we can, and we need the police to do all they can to keep us safe. If we want to stop crime on campus, we must stop shoving race into the conversation. Patrick Hicks University undergraduate student