What mug shots tell us—and don’t tell us

Laura G. writes:

Our local paper in North Carolina has begun having a full page spread each Friday showing the mug shots of those most wanted by our city and county law enforcement agency. It includes the crimes for which they are wanted, and their names. Twenty-five persons are shown each Friday.

There are usually two to three white faces, and all the rest are black or Hispanic. The predominant demographic is black but the Hispanics are well-represented, and many of their crimes are very violent. It is a stunning page if one allows oneself to contemplate the civil nature of the city we would be living in if these criminals were not among us. That fact, of course, can never, never, never be alluded to, discussed, noticed, or mentioned publicly. Certainly, no letter to the editor can raise this issue. I have tried. I have begun collecting the pages, and after a few months I will have “data” and plan to pull the data into a letter. I doubt that it will have any better fate than the previous letter, but I’ll let you know.

Also, about 10 percent of the mug shots are of females, usually wanted for fraud but occasionally for violent crimes.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 22, 2011 10:37 AM | Send

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