Today’s Investigative Special Report September 13, 2012 “Dealing With Today’s Law Enforcement Specialized Investigations” “Should Law Enforcement Apologize For Profiling Criminal Behavior?”

By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc
Forensic Investigator – Senior Author

In 1972 the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) was formed and those in law enforcement who didn’t have the education and experience in how to profile criminals who committed murders began using the BSU for their intellectual, creative, and innovative approaches to apprehending violent offenders.

Once the FBI, which controls the BSU, announced the training, research, and consultation they offered to state, county, and city law enforcement agencies, any agency that could spare the manpower were sending their officer’s to be trained by the BSU. The BSU went further and began developing multiple sophisticated investigative techniques, tactics, and procedures which created and develop the ability for law enforcement to track down individuals who were serial killers.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15:  Federal Bureau ...
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 15: Federal Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director David Cuthbertson testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Crime and Terrorism Subcommittee on Capitol Hill November 15, 2011 in Washington, DC. Cuthertson testified about the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would strengthen federal power over states’ handling of individuals’ background checks. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The smaller law enforcement agencies didn’t have the training, education, research, techniques, skills, or the manpower to understand the new behavioral science when dealing with violent offenders which for the most part were serial rapists and killers. Therefore, there was a great demand by these agencies to assist them in complicated rape and murder cases.

As the B
SU evolved and law enforcement agencies large and small began receiving the training, education, knowledge, and communicating the research within the law enforcement community. Due to this specific training law enforcement began apprehending individuals who needed to be imprisoned, if not executed by the order of a court.

In 2008, BSU created the Evil Minds Research Museum, with the goal being to study serial killers and research the deeper understanding of offender motivation, personality, and intent in order to assist and enhance investigative strategies and techniques.

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10:  (L-R) Federal B...
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 10: (L-R) Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert Mueller, Office of National Intelligence Director James Clapper, Centeral Intelligence Agency Director Leon Panetta prepare to testify to the House (Select) Committee on Intelligence at the U.S. Captiol February 10, 2011 in Washington, DC. While testifying to the committee, Panetta confirmed that he had intelligence that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak may be stepping down today. The U.S. intelligence leaders testified to the committee in an open hearing about 'world wide threats' before moving into a closed briefing. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)
The development of BSU allowed other law enforcement agencies and officers the opportunity to learn how to conduct menial and major criminal investigations. One of the aspects of achieving these milestones created an investigative bifurcation at several crime levels.

The first level was for law enforcement agencies to train and educate their officers in how to perform investigative psychology (IP) analysis. Although the IP analysis was developed by Dr. David Canter from the United Kingdom, the FBI and law enforcement agencies who could budget the program put Dr. Canter’s theories into action.

The second level was the Criminal Analysis Units (CAU) in each law enforcement agency began analyzing characteristics of criminals, specifically their psychological behavior and most important their geographical criminal behavior. Dr. Canter’s hypothesis was the pattern of behavior by a serial rapists or murderer could be tracked geographically which would minimize the opportunities for the perpetrator to commit the crime and maximize law enforcements opportunity to apprehend the perpetrator.
The sophistication of Dr. Canter’s methods and techniques with the forensic investigators from the BSU developed the ability to apprehend the petty thief to the major criminal perpetrator. However, these sophisticated investigative methods and techniques have come at a price.

In 2002, the then Mayor Rudy Giuliani put in to affect a “Stop-and-Frisk” program which was intended to take guns off the streets. Further, his goal was to take the guns away from the perpetrators in order to reduce violent crimes. Simply the program worked. Now New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have continued this successful program and support the use of it.

The ACLU is not so forgiving. They want the practice to stop. They believe the “Stop-and-Frisk” program is racial profiling, but is it. In America the break-down of the population in the United States by ethnicity is as follows:
   1.      Caucasians                  72%
         2.      Hispanic/Latino           15%
         3.      African-Americans      13%
         4.      Asians                         5%
         5.      Other Races                2.3%               
         6.      American Indian         1.2%

      Let us look at the number of individuals in prison and their ethnicity, reference 2,096,300 inmates       held in custody in state or federal prison, or in local jails, by sex, race, and Hispanic origin, June 30, 3009:
        1.      Caucasians                  693,800           33%
        2.      African-Americans      841,000           40%
        3.      Hispanic                      442,00             21%

     The disparity of the population versus those in prison demonstrates that there is a problem with those who are committing the crimes and the socio-economic reasons for this. There are other factors which should be considered as well. The Center for American Progress provided the follo
forensic psychology
forensic psychology (Photo credit: Psychology Pictures)
wing insight:
Some interesting facts about individuals who are in prison (Center for American Progress, 2012):
       1.      While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. 
       2.       According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime.
       3.      Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated.
       4.    According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates.
       5.      African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. 
       6.      As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. 
       7.       The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. 
       8.      Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. 
       9.      Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color.
     10.  Studies have shown that people of color face trajectory following release from prison.

The racial disparities are simply disheartening to Americans and this author. There has to be a better way instead of sending more and more minority groups to prison. However, this article isn’t about this aspect of these issues.

The issue of racial profiling has been a debate since the early 1990’s although the issues surrounding it has only recently received attention this past decade. In the early 1970’s profiling became attached to drug traffickers. An investigation done by the U.S. Department of Justice performed an investigation into the activity of the New Jersey State Police which raised awareness of the problem to the public. Currently, there are 20 states which have passed legislation prohibiting racial profiling and/or mandating data collection on stops and searches.

The question is should law enforcement have to apologize for doing their jobs? If the sophistication of the methods and techniques developed over the past couple centuries, and the methods and techniques developed by Dr. Canter and the BSU, the profiling of individuals may have attributed to some of the alleged racial profiling which may be occurring nationwide, if not worldwide.
"The World of Henry Billups: Jim Crow at the College of William and Mary" Exhibit (Photo credit: Special Collections Research Center, Swem Library)

Additionally, the training and education law enforcement has received over the past couple decades to identify, apprehend, prosecute, and imprison individuals who commit crimes may be seen as racial profiling.  

As a citizen of the United States there is a Constitution which was created for all Americans which provides for the protection from citizens being selected and targeted because of their race, gender, and so forth. However, and this is the crux of this article, is it the alleged police abuse methods and techniques causing a specific race to go to prison or are the races responsible and accountable for their criminal behavior or both.

There are imbalances in the criminal justice system and there are some individuals who are illegally arrested, apprehended, and imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. Every day the media provides one story after another that a man or woman spent 30 years of their lives for a crime which they didn’t commit. Are these individuals the minority of the majority? I will address this question in a later article. However, The Innocent Project since its inception has freed 297 individuals as of today’s date.

The facts are clear that there is this imbalance of who are apprehended and eventually go to prison. The immediate concern is the alleged perpetrator having the right to a competent and intelligent attorney and investigator.

With the economy in the poor shape it is in, the first item to go out the window are public services. Being a minority in the United States basically means that the legal care they will receive is questionable at best.

So there are a number of questions which need to be dealt with but let’s deal with the main theme of this article. Should law enforcement agencies and officers apologize for doing their jobs? If the officer follows departmental procedures, the civil, domestic, and criminal laws, and the arrests are based upon probable cause than there should be no reason to apologize, no matter what race the perpetrator is.

The issue of are some races are targeted may have some merit to argue about, but it seems illogical and unreasonable that there would be a conspiracy across the United States that law enforcement is out to violate the civil rights of an individual no matter what their skin color is. Too often the civil rights advocates speak out before they have all the facts. This was seen in the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case.

As a citizen of the United States you have the right to freedom and to right to be free from abuse by the government. However, law enforcement officers should never have to apologize if someone commits a crime they are apprehended, and sent to prison. It is when an officer steps over the line and violates the individual’s rights is when the officer needs to be held accountable and responsible.

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