MEDIA ADVISORY/NEWS RELEASE (By Sergeant Goodman #292) – On May 25, 2017, about 4:30 AM, a male (arrestee) was operating a U-Haul van, parked the van in the Target parking lot and quickly exited the vehicle after seeing patrol cars in the immediate area.
The arrestee walked away from the van and exited the parking lot. The arrestee ran and hid behind bushes to the rear of Michaels on 40th Street. He was located and detained for Jaywalking across 40th Street. The male was identified and officers learned he was on probation for identity theft out of Marin County.
During a probation search of the U-Haul van, officers located personal identifying information for more than ten people.
The personal information consisted of names, birth certificates, addresses, account numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers and signatures. There were also numerous pieces of mail belonging to other people in the van from various cities and Bay Area Counties.
The male was arrested for probation violation, possession of burglary tools, identity theft, possession of stolen property and theft of access cards or account information.
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Question. Why do you not specify race when the arrestee is white, but you do when the person is of another race? If you do it for people of color, then it is only fair that you do it for white people. Curious in Oakland.
Cathy, This is a press release from the EPD and was posted verbatim. I don’t see in it where you reached the conclusion of the race of this particular suspect. I’m assuming you’re directing the question to the EPD and I could reach out to them for comment if you can clarify.
Thanks for your response Rob. It’s common practice in the U.S. that when race is not mentioned reference is being made to a white person. Race is only mentioned when it is a person of color. The implicit meaning is that only people of color commit crimes and leads to dehumanizing people of color. Another example is shooters of color are called ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’ and white shooters called ‘mentally ill.’ That assumes that whites deserve sympathy even if they are serial criminals. The next time you check out the news, Nextdoor, Facebook,etc. you will be unpleasantly surprised.
Cathy, this seems to be more your collection of biases than anything else. You start by assuming the suspect is white, then you assume the omission of race is done for racist reasons, then you ascribe racist intentions to all other reporting in some overarching generalization about all things. You are recycling a racist narrative absent any facts to support it.
Step back and question the “systemic racism” narrative. It is not accurate.
More importantly, it is fundamentally reversing the progress toward racial equality many generations sacrificed for. This tendency to demand everything be viewed first and foremost through a racial lens is taking the fundamental construct of racism and giving it new life. We must view the world as racists do to become anti-racists. It’s ridiculous.
This story had nothing to do with race. The racism and bias here was entirely yours.
Good point, Cathy. I was just wondering where the suspect’s photo was.
By the way, Rob, I’d be interested to hear how EPD explains this.
Cathy, Emeryville PD Chief Jennifer Tejada noted in her reply to me that they only provide racial descriptions when it would provide value to solving a crime. In this type of media release/crime bulletin, since the suspect was already in custody, clearly there is no value in providing a description.
She also notes that the EPD policy manual is under review and once it is finalized it will have language that address using race in Crime Alerts and Bulletins. She expects this to be complete by July.
Thank you Rob for your research and response.
I did not project race onto the suspect in this report and figured it was omitted bc he was already in custody, which seems to be the reason EPD gave. No reason to assume more or less than that. We still don’t know the race, and it doesn’t matter.
As far as labeling criminals as terrorists vs mentally ill, that often has to do with the criminal’s intent, although I would say it’s highly likely that anyone who murders people in cold blood is mentally ill regardless of intent. So terrorists would be one subset of mentally ill people.