The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Infrared Frisk?

Stop and frisk - the Q's been noticing a lot of it lately. I'm with the State Senator Eric Adams who I'm pretty sure I overheard telling a crowd "hey, they don't stop Erkel." It's frequently the hoodiest looking young men who get the special cop love, and I can attest that the gentlemen on and around my block that seem to be targeted the most fit the, well, profile. Whether or not the S&F gets the job done is certainly an important study to study, but it's irrelevant to the broader constitutional point - is it right to assume someone who looks like they're up to no good is actually up to no good? (I'll speak for my lame-ass Iowa self here and say that when I was growing up, the cops would target those skinny, pasty kids loitering near the 24-hour laundromat with their piercings and ripped up jeans. The fact that those were friends of mine and I KNOW FOR A FACT that they were totally high, carrying contraband, and constantly planning petty crimes should not color one's convictions on civil liberties. I know for a fact that a couple of the skinheads WERE in fact straight-edge, though they did a lot of a shoplifting, and eventually got into meth. But that particular day they were totally, you know, clean.)

I've often mused that it would be great if the country that invented the iPad could invent a device that could identify a gun from 20 paces. Just point it at a thuggy looking fellow and find out whether he's packing heat. Genius, right?

Looks like the technology is getting close, according to this Daily News article. Assuming for a moment that pointing all those radiation emitting devices wouldn't permanently rattle our chromosomes, is this a good thing? On the surface, I like the idea. But I'm thinking there would be TONS of false positives, leading to lots of potentially overzealous shake downs and police overreactions. I mean, it's one thing to come up to a guy and stop and frisk just cuz he looks nasty. But approaching someone you feel SURE is armed?

Any thoughts? This one has me ethically mystified.

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