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Old April 10, 2006, 11:13 PM   #1
CAPTAIN MIKE
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Some New Thoughts About "Profiling"

I guess I've had to overcome the PC issues, and I (Gulp) hereby accept the reality that profiling is not really so much about race as it is about attitude, dress, behavior and signals that are being sent out by the prospective Bad Guys.

The past weekend, it happened again. I was in a favorite food place (FatBurger) and in comes three gangsta types, looking the part and acting the part by their manner, attitude, swagger, etc. But this time, rather than just think about it, I actually did get my little boy up and out. Then, from a safe position with my little boy out of the way, I watched the action inside, and nothing happened. However, this time I didn't feel so darn "guilty" about profiling the individuals who swaggered in acting all "bad ass".

My 'situational awareness' skills have gone up considerably, and in the real world I am going with safety first and political correctness last. If some guys act like, dress like and behave like my internal definition of Gangsters, I guess I should trust my instincts and move and act accordingly.
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Old April 10, 2006, 11:24 PM   #2
pickpocket
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Good on ya!

Good for you! And the more you rely on and use your "SA" the more developed it will become.
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Old April 10, 2006, 11:35 PM   #3
cal
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When I was a kid I was taught to size up folks by the way they presented themselves. And to look em over closely. There are books written on this.

The only folks who abhore profiling are those that should be profiled. Profiling is a life saving skill.

Remember If you walk like a duck, quack like a duck, You are more than likely a duck.
Thus if you walk like a lunatic, act like a lunatic....

Still in the end it's YOUR safety. Look em over closely and size em up accordingly. You'll be very rarely wrong.
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Old April 11, 2006, 11:55 AM   #4
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Profiling...

Has a much maligned and misunderstood purpose.

The Supreme Court outlawed the use of 'racial profiling' years ago as a law enforcement screening tool. What that really means is, a LEO cannot use 'race' as the sole or primary factor in enforcement stops or actions.

In the same decision, SCOTUS said all LEOs have the ability and right to use the "... sum total of their training and experience..." in conducting their business.

As a private citizen, the First Amendment gives us all the right to think what we want about others. That "right" burdens us with the responsibility of doing so in a competent and rational manner.

Just so no one misunderstands; I find nothing in either the Constitution or the Bible which requires one to be a victim due to ineptitude or negligence.
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Old April 11, 2006, 12:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
I guess I've had to overcome the PC issues, and I (Gulp) hereby accept the reality that profiling is not really so much about race as it is about attitude, dress, behavior and signals that are being sent out by the prospective Bad Guys.
Whether it's PC or not, profiling is one of the most basic and essential parts of self defense, and one of the most important aspects of profiling is being able to read body language. Even prey animals profile by reading the body language of predators to see if they're in hunt mode. For us, it represents a second language that almost never lies, and being able to read it can save your life. Here's Mas Ayoob's take on it.....

http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob87.html

Profiling is just another tool, albeit an important one. It can be abused, leading to racism, or it can be the first line of defense for both law enforcement and the average Joe trying to stay safe.

Unfortunately, some who fit the BG profile to a "T" have chosen to link that profile to their own race, and I think that's what leads to racial profiling. I think the key to avoiding that is to consider the totality of the indicators rather than centering on one or two.

Profiling has a similarity to guns. They're both tools, neither good nor bad by themselves. It's how they're used that paints the picture.
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Old April 11, 2006, 05:27 PM   #6
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The FBI uses profilers extensively, and race is always a factor they consider.

Nothing wrong with profiling, however if it is on the SOLE basis of race you are going to be a very poor LEO as you will miss what you should be seeing because you are focusing on the wrong person.

Same goes for Private Persons, you will miss the real danger because you are focusing on the wrong thing.
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Old April 11, 2006, 06:08 PM   #7
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As far as SA goes, there was a book written a few years ago by Gavin DeBecker titled, "The Gift of Fear" He discusses how to be more in tune with your "gut instinct" and improve your SA skills. Highly recommended, though be warned, he is NO friend of the NRA or the 2nd amendment, but his way of breaking the gut instinct down into component parts and subjective/objective observations is worth the read IMHO.
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Old April 11, 2006, 08:23 PM   #8
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Suspect anyone and everyone. Criminals come in all shapes and sizes. Plenty of "clean cut" people have robbed banks, shot up stores, ect.
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Old April 11, 2006, 08:50 PM   #9
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While Profiling is a useful tool (except for the PC feel good crowd) when my daughter asks me what "bad guys" look like ,I tell her they can look just like you and me. Regards 18DAI.
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Old April 11, 2006, 09:04 PM   #10
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Of the many self-protection philosophies I've heard over the years, two have stuck with me.

[Edited to account for those people who have no common sense and may take the internet too seriously]

Of course... that was in a combat zone

If you dial it back a tiny bit, the same can apply for real-life.
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Last edited by pickpocket; April 12, 2006 at 05:56 PM.
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Old April 12, 2006, 09:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
THINK like everyone you meet wants to kill you, just don't ACT that way.
Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
If you dial it back a tiny bit, the same can apply for real-life.
That's troublesome advice, guy. Reconsider.

As for profiling....definitely do it.
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Old April 12, 2006, 11:00 AM   #12
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Terrific Article CC!

Capt. Charlie - I just want to say a hearty thank you. That is a terrific article and the website is a wealth of information. Awesome.
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Old April 12, 2006, 02:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
The only folks who abhorrer profiling are those that should be profiled. Profiling is a life saving skill.
Quote of the week here....AMEN.

Skyguy,

Quote:
THINK like everyone you meet wants to kill you, just don't ACT that way.
Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
War zone or not if anyone can be a badguy........

Quote:
I tell her they can look just like you and me.
Quote:
Suspect anyone and everyone. Criminals come in all shapes and sizes. Plenty of "clean cut" people have robbed banks, shot up stores, etc.
You should be prepared to deal with all threats. Unfortunately that means preparing for the possibly of having to kill them. There are better ways to say what Pickpocket is saying but he is correct none the less. Any less by you will leave you vulnerable. The beauty is I do this also and nobody is the wiser.
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Old April 12, 2006, 02:22 PM   #14
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like the article capt. charlie. even though a good deal of it is (hopefully) common-sense, when something like that is well-articulated into writing, it becomes more of an active memory, which i've always felt helps people avoid allowing emotion to cloud their judgment in tense situations because they can then analyze it rather than feel it.

i feel terrible for the minority of people who have been victims of unfair profiling. but the statistics speak. the ACLU's successes fighting profiling and gang injunctions have often been accompanied by increases in murder and other violent crime. if you're a sheep, don't dress like a wolf, and if you want to emulate gangster culture for some foolish pop-culture value, you should expect to be treated accordingly.
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Old April 12, 2006, 02:53 PM   #15
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That's troublesome advice, guy. Reconsider.
That's why I put in the disclaimer (which you left out of the quote) and the comment to dial it back a bit before applying to real life.
Do you walk into a restaraunt and look for all the exits?
Do you try to position seat so that face the door?
Do you try to note the positions of any LEO's in proximity to you?
Do you ask yourself: "what if THIS guy pulled a gun, what would I do?"

Then you're doing the same thing - I'm just using different words.

There's no chance on earth that I'd reconsider that advice - at least not for me. It's saved my life or put me far enough ahead of the curve enough times to make me a believer.

Of course, that also doesn't mean that I advocate people sitting around in their pantyhose using lipstick to write a list of names of the people that have ****** them off.

Quote:
There are better ways to say what Pickpocket is saying but he is correct none the less. Any less by you will leave you vulnerable. The beauty is I do this also and nobody is the wiser.
Yeah, but coming straight to the point sure does illustrate the seriousness of it, don't you think? Doesn't help to sugar-coat some things.
Nobody is the wiser because you don't ACT like that's what you're thinking, so you obviously understand where I'm coming from.
It takes just as long to draw your weapon with a frown as it does with a smile, and nobody knows what's going on in your head unless you want them to - that's all I'm saying.
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Old April 12, 2006, 02:53 PM   #16
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If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck...............
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Old April 12, 2006, 02:59 PM   #17
pickpocket
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Then it MUST be a chicken.
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Old April 12, 2006, 03:18 PM   #18
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in the vein of the two above posts... they're both of greater utility to me after being shot and cooked wonder how extensible that is to the broader situation..?
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Old April 12, 2006, 03:56 PM   #19
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The problem with profiling is that an attitude developes that may or may not be a fair assessment. Young toughs full of swagger are not evil unless they perform evil actions. Intelligent criminals dress so as not to draw attention to themselves. As humans I always find it interesting that we feel our brains make us better than animals whereas animals usually act better than we humans towards others. I thought the movie "crash" did a good job of showing what false ideas of others leads to. Instinctually we protect our selves and walking with a martial arts awareness is good but to profile people is different. When will we get to know our neighbors and community better, instead of judging them? You have to walk in anothers shoes....
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Old April 12, 2006, 04:14 PM   #20
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I think you're missing the point.

Nobody here is saying we should judge people by getting to know them. What we ARE saying is that certain actions will produce certain REACTIONS. If a kid swaggers in arrogance it's because he wants people to be afraid of him, or to think he's tough. To ignore that message and assume he is "not" a threat for fear of offending someone just flies in the face of common sense.

All people are potential threats until they prove themselves to NOT be a threat.
Don't get wrapped up in the terminology - "profiling" has been turned into this nasty, civil-rights abusing, freedom-revoking word. But you know what - we do it every day, even if unconsciously.

I don't have to walk in another's shoes to respect their differences. To say that someone MUST be a criminal because they're black is one thing, to have your spidey-senses turned up a notch because something about the way a person is acting doesn't seem right is entirely another - and THAT's the point of the discussion.

There are always going to be people who hold unfair prejudices against others. Call it what it is, though - rather than allow it to hide hehind a less-offensive word.
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Old April 12, 2006, 05:40 PM   #21
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pickpocket,

There's situational awareness and then there's paranoia

Even "dialed back a tiny bit", I still don't think it's healthy to "THINK like everyone you meet wants to kill you".
Nor is it healthy to "Have a plan to kill everyone you meet".

You might want to reconsider that advice....because there are probably a few that visit here who might actually take it to heart.
.
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Old April 12, 2006, 05:57 PM   #22
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Done; rather than get into an argument over nothing.
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Old April 12, 2006, 06:00 PM   #23
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Pickpocket, I had no problem the way you said it believe me. I just understand how some people think, especially antigunners. They might interpret it as a psycho with a gun waiting to kill.
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Old April 12, 2006, 06:10 PM   #24
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Well, that went downhill and off topic quick.

A profile of a person by definition includes more than one attribute. If the only "profile" you can see is race, you are on the wrong path.

Good SA includes being aware of your possible responses to an attack by any person around you. This is particularly true for an LEO or anyone who carries a firearm openly. One of the responses must be deadly force in response to a deadly attack. This may be considered paranoia, but it is taught at every LE school I have heard of, and it saves lifes.

Things can get to seeming very routine while on the job, and relaxing can get you or someone else killed. I imagine this would apply, to a lessor extent, to anyone who carries openly.
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Old April 12, 2006, 10:40 PM   #25
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Lets understand that The "GANGSTA GANG BANGER" wants you to feel fear. Wants you to be intimidated. You see, these gang bangers confuse fear with respect. They literally live in a dog pack mentality, strongest is Alpha Male which is maintained by violence or fear of violence.
As far as race is concerned, its irrelevant. Most people instinctively know when someone is up to no good. That’s not a race factor.
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