Patterico's Pontifications

11/9/2007

By Any Other Name

Filed under: Miscellaneous — DRJ @ 4:30 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

The Los Angeles Police Department is mapping Muslim neighborhoods:

City officials this morning defended the LAPD’s decision to identify Muslim enclaves across the city, saying that instead of “mapping,” Angelenos should see the program as “community engagement.”

Civil rights groups have harshly criticized the new initiative as racial profiling that unfairly targets Muslims. The American Civil Liberties Union along with other community groups sent a letter to the LAPD this week saying the prospect of such a measure raised “grave concerns.”

At a press conference about police recruitment in Elysian Park, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Police Chief William Bratton and Councilman Jack Weiss said they stood behind Deputy Chief Michael P. Downing’s decision to gather extensive intelligence about local Muslim communities.

“Chief Downing has good intentions here,” said Villaraigosa, who added that he had only learned of the new program through newspaper articles and at a short briefing. The Police Department respects “the civil and human rights of Muslims in Los Angeles,” Villaraigosa said.
***
Bratton tried to recast the program this morning, saying that incorrect words had been used to describe the LAPD’s actions.

“We are seeking contact with many communities,” he said. “We are doing it in a very transparent way here. We got hung up on the word ‘mapping’, this is ‘community engagement.’

The goal of the program is primarily to identify militant extremists and perhaps also to protect vulnerable residents:

“The mapping program would be headed by Downing, who is in charge of the LAPD’s anti-terrorism bureau.

“We want to map the locations of these closed, vulnerable communities, and in partnership with these communities . . . help [weave] these enclaves into the fabric of the larger society,” Downing said in testimony about the program before Congress on Oct. 30. At the hearing, Downing said his intentions were to “mitigate radicalization,” and that law enforcement agencies everywhere faced “a vicious, amorphous and unfamiliar adversary on our land.”

The LAPD hopes to identify communities that “may be susceptible to violent, ideologically based extremism and then use a full-spectrum approach guided by an intelligence-led strategy,” Downing said during the hearing.”

City Councilman Jack Weiss also praised the police department for its transparency in describing the program. I applaud this program and its transparency but I have a feeling we won’t see this degree of transparency again.

— DRJ

12 Responses to “By Any Other Name”

  1. The FBI was trying to track felafel purchases.

    The felafel restaurant in my neighborhood is owned by Israelis. I’m not sure this is gonna work.

    Andrew J. Lazarus (7d46f9)

  2. Remember: Islam is a race.

    Jim Treacher (5e5b1e)

  3. The response by the ACLU is no surprise. They are consistently against what is reasonable and necessary. I’m not a rocket scientist but I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t make any sense to map the Jewish or Korean enclaves of L.A.

    We got hung up on the word ‘mapping’, this is ‘community engagement.’“

    And its an absolute shame that semantics is even a part of this when we’re talking about a vital pro-active move toward keeping a city and all of its citizens safe.

    Dana (ef0682)

  4. This is the same approach to policing that Bratton took in NYC — the application of “Computstat” to the identification of areas more suspectible to a high risk of terrorism activity or planning.

    As I understand it, Compustat in NY was a highly detailed “mapping” of crime incidents in various NYC neighborhoods and streets. Police resources and the “broken windows” policies were then directed at those trouble-spots. As the problem-actors in those neighborhoods were dealt with, overall crime rates declined. There was not the predicted “balloon” effect, where aggressive policing in one neighborhood simply drove crime into nearby neighborhoods.

    It seems that Bratton wants to do the same thing with respect to terrorist threats in LA. Identify the geographic locations where the threat is higher, and focus law enforcement attention on those areas.

    WLS (bafbcb)

  5. The idea that there is some sort of civil liberty interest in not having the LAPD document the groups of people who live in their jurisdiction escapes me.

    But that is par for the course with the silly ACLU. They are just another knee that kicks each time it is whacked by a hammer, regardless of why.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  6. WLS,

    I may be wrong but I think the military also used software like this to map Baghdad neighborhoods.

    DRJ (5c60fb)

  7. More likely Andrew the LAPD is responding to the real criminal activities of Hezbollah in the LA area — who are heavily into:

    Cigarette smuggling/sales (evasion of taxes)
    Sales of counterfeit clothes, DVDs, luxury goods
    Protection rackets

    To funnel money to Hezbollah. Arrests in the North Carolina case (cigarette smuggling) and in Southgate (counterfeit DVDs and clothes) of Hezbollah racketeers illustrate this threat by organized crime-terrorists.

    The people involved were: Muslims who were related or long time friends, mostly immigrants (legal and illegal), with long-time ties to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

    I would *hope* there is a mapping database of families, friends, and the extended social network of these terrorist-gangsters who mimic the Columbian Cartels or the Mafia as much as they do AQ.

    The LA area has a serious problem with Hezbollah criminal activity, the purpose of which is to raise money for terrorism, and also has bad effects as well.

    The protection racket for example is a direct threat to the city. Allowing it is unacceptable. No shock that the ACLU and Liberals are on the side of organized crime — ACLU defended Gotti big time back in the 1980’s.

    Jim Rockford (e09923)

  8. Shouldn’t the LAPD know where to go to protect Muslim’s against any potential backlash? Or at least that could have been their story.

    kaf (956c0f)

  9. The felafel restaurant in my neighborhood is owned by Israelis. I’m not sure this is gonna work.

    Come now, don’t you pay attention at your protest rallies/marches?

    We’re in Iraq because of teh jooooos…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  10. Officialdom in general has talked itself into a bind by always denying that Muslims shooting people or driving cars into them in this country is terrorism. If they deny Muslim terrorism, why should they engage the Muslim neighborhoods?

    The ACLU lady today obviously understands this bind and exploits it but still sounded almost delusional: “When you target any one group simply because of religion it is profiling.” Except that it’s not simply religion if that religion tends to bomb people and shoot and stab people in numbers wildly disproportionate to other religions. (I know, I know, I’m a racist.)

    Anyway, in the interest of sensitivity, I volunteer my neighborhood to be mapped. The presence of the law would be a welcome relief.

    Patricia (f56a97)

  11. I’m surprised and pleased by this. In an age of feminized, politically correct leadership in big-city law enforcement, the LAPD is actually tracking the groups from where terrorists are likely to emerge.

    Jack (a9896a)

  12. Maybe the census ought to just count bodies and not make any other differentiations. Don’t count race, ethnicity, legality, ancestry, language spoken, marital status, anything. After all, it’s the government profiling the people who live here every ten years.

    kimsch (2ce939)


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