An interesting article from TIME that actually analyzes profiling generally, where it came from, how it was warped into what it is today (it seems that the country actually may have Chicago to thank for that), with particular discussion of Cincinnati and its particularly disastrous mix. Given the lack of trust and information within Cincinnati's police department itself, it's no wonder that the city is having such problems. And it's not just Cincinnati dealing with profiling accusations and the resultant "de-policing"; it's happening in other cities, such as Seattle as well.
There's a bill pending before Congress, the End Racial Profiling Act of 2001. Conservatives object to the act -- it's not entirely clear from the articles on what grounds, aside from the studies that state that minorities commit more misdemeanors and felonies per capita than do whites.
Side Note 1: The political problem for conservatives is, even if that's true -- and given the confluence of racial and class and economic issues in this country, it's not beyond the bounds of reason, up to a point -- the conservatives will shoot themselves in the foot by pursuing this option. They're trying to persuade affluent blacks (the middle and low income people being completely lost to them) and Hispanics and Asians of all income levels that they're now kinder, gentler, more accepting of minorities. And then, when a bill comes along which would say, at its core, that police must treat minorities and whites equally when it comes to traffic stops and arrests, they object. How can conservatives make any argument against the bill and still persuade moneyed people of color that really, the Republican Party is the best place for them?
Side Note 2, and completely off topic: the Seattle police seem to have purely lost their minds. They made themselves a copper pig (named "Copper", natch) for Seattle's Pigs on Parade public art project. What could they possibly ever have been thinking? OK, fine, they couldn't have known that they were going to have a little riot and a few Issues to deal with when it was commissioned. And fine, it shows that they have something of a sense of humor about themselves.
But ... a pig?
12/19/2001: vive la france
12/19/2001: princess, redux
12/19/2001: yemen and rumsfeld
12/18/2001: you're NOT in the army now
12/18/2001: interesting donation
12/18/2001: shame on winn dixie, indeed
12/18/2001: saudi princess
12/17/2001: new resolve
12/17/2001: a victim of the attack ... yeah, right
12/17/2001: polluters ho!