Commission to explore NC's racial profiling problem

Justitia has been sneaking glances under her blindfold:

The task force for the N.C. Advocates for Justice also looked into incarceration rates and juvenile offenders by race. The study covered a decade of law enforcement traffic stops in North Carolina. Among other findings, the report said blacks and Hispanics are "almost twice as likely to be searched and twice as likely to be arrested" as white drivers.

In law enforcement terms, those statistics would qualify as "probable cause" that a crime was being committed, and that a much closer look was warranted:

Glazier said Thursday the group will establish a permanent commission to determine the reasons for the racial disparities in traffic stops and prisons and explore how those disparities are being addressed in communities around the state and nation. The permanent commission is expected to make recommendations, he said.

"Confidence in the criminal justice system by every segment of our society is crucial to our security," Glazier said in an email Thursday. "Race continues to be a disparate factor in that system."

When I read the lede for this story, I immediately assumed the worst: that it would be a pro-forma casual glance at the issue, with nothing of substance resulting. But then I saw Rick's name, and I knew it would be more than just a glance.

While we're on the subject, my very own Sheriff is once again in the news:

Now his views, his leadership and his deputies' actions have attracted the attention of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which is investigating the Alamance County Sheriff's Office over allegations that it targets Latinos in traffic stops and checkpoints. The data supports the concerns: Compiled and analyzed by the Indy, traffic stop records show that Latino drivers are twice as likely as non-Latinos to face arrest during traffic stops by Alamance County deputies.

It's not just the data that is troubling. In September, Johnson, his chief deputy, the training director and a reserve deputy plan to attend a training session in Texas sponsored by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). The organization is listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its incendiary anti-immigrant rhetoric.

The county will spend $3,200 in federal drug forfeiture money for sheriff's employees to attend the seminar, Alamance County Sheriff's Office spokesman Randy Jones said.

According to the SPLC's website, FAIR founder John Tanton has publicly bemoaned the loss of white power in the U.S. and called for policies that maintain a white majority in the country.

You'd think this information would make the Sheriff's office think twice before attending said seminar, but you'd be wrong:

Jones said he is unaware of FAIR's controversial positions, but added the organization's "hate group" label would not stop Alamance deputies from attending.

"This is like saying I'm not going to watch the Super Bowl because I don't like alcohol and Budweiser is a sponsor," Jones said. "Budweiser isn't playing the game."

Yeah, it's exactly the same thing...