A new crime study has some wondering about law enforcement and profiling.
But the people that fight crime in the street, not the academic types conducting these surveys, tell a different story.
The study, published in Crime & Delinquency, says nearly half of African American men and around 40% of white men have been arrested at least once for non-traffic related crimes by the time they are 23. Ex-Houston cop Mike Knox worked with gangs in the city and told KTRH there simply isn't the fear of getting arrested that there used to be.
“It’s no longer thought of as a bad thing to get in trouble with the police. I hate to say this but it all starts back at the home,” Knox said.
And the numbers show a 20% jump for all ethnic groups between the ages of 18 and 23. Knox explained why we see that.
“At that age you’re bullet proof. Nothing bad is going to happen to you. Sometimes you have to get hit in the head with a 2x4 to make you realize you are human,” Knox said.
The numbers have led some to use the word 'profiling' but Knox, who spent 15 years in the street, says that's simply not true.
“Policemen don’t wake up in the morning and think about how to violate someone’s civil rights,” Knox stated.
“Some of the proudest moments of my life were when a Hispanic gang member would tell me I was racist. Then I’d arrest a black gang member who would tell me the same thing. And later I’d arrest a white gang member who’d tell me the same thing,” Knox explained.