Tuesday, May 15, 2007

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Now Will Report Race of At-Large Criminal Suspects

In a bit of ill-advised political correctness, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee failed to reveal, in e-mails send to students and staff, that at-large suspects in crimes near campus were black.

This created a bit of a stir when the student online journal Front Page Milwaukee blew the whistle on the UWM administration.

Well it seems the policy has now changed. Thus this last Friday, the following mass e-mail went out to the UWM community:
Armed robbery reported near UWM campus Thursday night

There was an armed robbery and home invasion at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday, May 10, in the 2900 block of Farwell Avenue — about a block directly south of campus.

According to University Police, UWM students in the home said two men forcefully entered through the front door. The two men displayed firearms; threatened occupants; took wallets and electronics; and fled. University Police responded in support of the Milwaukee Police Department.

According to University Police reports, the two armed robbery suspects are described as follows:

Suspect No. 1, a black male, approximately 30 years old, stocky build, bald or very short hair, blue shirt with orange stripe with Nike swoosh on front, armed with a black semiautomatic handgun.

Suspect No. 2, a black male, also about 30 years old, medium build, loose cornrows hair style, wearing a green t-shirt with white writing and wearing over his hands white tube socks with stripes. He also was armed with a black semiautomatic handgun.

University Police encourage neighborhood residents to keep doors locked and windows secured.

If when off campus you notice suspicious activity or feel threatened, call Milwaukee Police at 911. Afterwards, please call University Police at 414-229-9911.

If when on campus you notice suspicious activity or feel threatened, call University Police at 9911 from a campus phone or at 414-229-9911 from a cell phone.

This message was sent by University Relations and Communications.
We suppose we understand the desire not to stereotype any particular group. But does that imply that one can’t simply tell the truth?

Further, how does one battle a stereotype (that blacks are disproportionally likely to commit crimes) when it’s true, when everybody knows it’s true and you look silly when you try to deny it?

This kind of stereotype can’t be mitigated by giving people “better information.” It is based on perfectly good information.

At Marquette

The Marquette Tribune does in fact publish the race of at-large suspects when such information is available. Consider, for example, this news brief that appeared on May 1.
The Milwaukee Police Department and Department of Public Safety are looking for a black man approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 165 lbs.

According to DPS, the man has long black hair and was wearing a black knit cap, a black nylon jacket and dark pants when he robbed a 23-year-old male student Monday.

DPS officers said they urge students and faculty not to approach the suspect.

“If you see him, contact DPS immediately,” DPS Lt. Paul Mascari said.
We’d all prefer to live in a society where there is no connection between race and crime. Until that happens, the best policy is to bite the bullet and tell the truth.

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