In the chaotic minutes after two bombs tore through the crowd near the finish line at the Boston Marathon, racial discrimination turned a terror victim into a terror suspect.
As a shocked world watched, media reported that a young Saudi man had been apprehended.
He had been watching the race and was badly hurt by the first bomb. CBS News said a bystander saw him running and tackled him. People thought he looked “suspicious.”
While doctors treated him in hospital, his apartment was searched and his roommate interrogated. His name was endlessly tweeted. Media dubbed him the “Saudi suspect.”
The next day, authorities cleared him. Wrong place, wrong time, said CNN.
Yes, it was wrong. Racial profiling is wrong. And it’s also bad policing.
Research supports this. There is no evidence that racial profiling helps identify terrorists. What can be proven, is that profiling creates distrust and resentment among members of ethnic or religious communities. It leads them to believe they are unfairly targeted by law enforcement...In fact, "profiling" works just fine, Dave. As for its engendering distrust and resentment, that can and does arise no matter what. Just look at the Tsarnaev brothers, who were never "profiled," and who grew to despise the U.S. even though it had been very good to them. Perhaps had American authorities been a little more adept at "profiling" Tamerlan, they would been able to stop him before he had a chance to unleash his distrust and resentment on infidels in Boston.