Gun control efforts began as a response to the possibility of white Klansmen being killed by black folks defending themselves from racist aggression. Since that time, some would have you believe that such things have…evolved.
They claim gun control has nothing to do with racism and it’s wrong to even suggest it.
Yet a lawsuit against the District of Columbia argues that the city’s “stop and frisk” policy–one born in response to gun control–claims quite the opposite.
And now, a judge is going to let it proceed.
A lawsuit accusing the nation’s capitol of engaging in discriminatory “stop and frisk” tactics to enforce its strict gun laws can continue.
That’s the ruling Federal District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, an Obama appointee, handed down last week. The class-action suit claims the Gun Recovery Unit (GRU) of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) routinely detained and searched residents without probable cause, especially Black men who live in poorer parts of the city. The judge found the plaintiffs presented enough evidence in the case to overcome an attempt by the city to have the case dismissed.
“The court has found that Plaintiffs have adequately alleged that policymakers either knew or should have known of the GRU’s unconstitutional ‘stop and frisk’ practices,” Judge Chutkan wrote in Crudup v. DC.
The case stems from the arrests of four DC residents. The men, who are all Black and all live in disadvantaged sections of the city, were stopped by police for what their lawyers claim were trumped-up reasons and, despite never giving consent, searched. They were then charged with non-violent gun crimes, such as carrying without a permit.
The suit claims Dalonta Crudup, a 23-year-old Black man, was walking with a backpack slung over one shoulder when GRU officers approached him in an unmarked car. The plainclothes officers exited the vehicle and confronted Crudup after he put the backpack on both shoulders. Despite Crudup not consenting to a search of the bag, the officers searched the backpack after claiming they could hear there was something inside and felt marijuana during a patdown. They found a gun and arrested him.
“The police weren’t out actively engaged in stopping crime, they were just targeting individuals who they believe might be committing crimes, and that was solely on the basis of their race,” Bruckheim told The Reload.
Basically, they were walking in rougher neighborhoods while black.
There was no probable cause for searches. The police like made up their claims of hearing something in the bag. There’s a reason those cases were all eventually dismissed. The problem is that their rights were severely restricted prior to that happening.
Yes, race does appear to have played a factor. It’s unlikely that some white dude walking around in Georgetown would have been subjected to the same treatment, after all.
That’s a huge problem, one the lawsuit sets itself to address.
However, the truth is that the application of any gun control scheme is going to negatively impact the black community. They’re already the ones most likely to be charged under existing gun laws as it is. Only a fool would assume that would suddenly change with the passage of still more anti-gun legislation.
Now, I’m not someone who generally thinks that disparities in who is convicted of what is inherently racist, but I will say that this policy itself sure as hell looks that way and I look forward to DC being taken down a few dozen pegs.