Police in Washington state must now take a suspect’s race into account before doing their job. The state Supreme Court unanimously ruled earlier this month that a suspect deserves special treatment should he happen to be nonwhite.
“Today, we formally recognize what has always been true: in interactions with law enforcement, race and ethnicity matter,” Justice Mary Yu declared. “Therefore, courts must consider the race and ethnicity of the allegedly seized person as part of the totality of the circumstances when deciding whether there was a seizure.”
The case dealt with police approaching an Asian Pacific Islander man as he slept in his car in 2019. The car was parked in an area known as a destination for stolen vehicles. The man, Palla Sum, gave a false name and birthdate to the officers. When the sheriff’s deputy went back to his car to check for any outstanding warrants, Sum fled the scene and later crashed his car. Police later found that Sum had a gun in his vehicle. The suspect was legally barred from owning a firearm, which explains why he sped off.
Sum said he only gave false statements due to being detained under the police’s faulty assumption he was in a stolen car. Sum said police should’ve considered his race before stopping him. He argued that people who look like him are naturally afraid of police. Apparently, all nonwhites—including Asians—are at risk of police violence and this explains why they may run away from cops. The court agreed with this explicitly racial argument.
In effect, minorities can now claim they were unlawfully detained by police simply by pointing to their race–even if a cop had a legitimate reason for stopping them. If the new standard had been applied to the Sum case, the police would have to hesitate to approach any vehicle in a spot known for stolen cars if the occupants happen to be nonwhite.
The ruling pleased public defenders, with one group claiming it recognizes “the lived experiences of our clients and the significant harms they face due to racialized policing.” It did not sit well with prosecutors and police, however. “Police officers and trial court judges, especially, are facing some confusing and uncertain times ahead as they try to correctly apply the court’s ruling,” Pierce County Prosecutor Mary Robnett told the Associated Press.
Thanks to this ruling, criminals now have another way to get out of trouble and police face a new hurdle to doing their job—all because of progressive racial dogmas. The fact that certain races may face arrest more than other groups is a bigger problem than crime itself. We’re not allowed to suggest that members of these groups may commit more crimes than people from other races. That’s racist. The only acceptable explanation for these disparities is systemic racism and we must work to tear down this oppression before we can catch criminals.
In fact, we’re going to need to release a lot of criminals to atone for our racism.
It should be noted that Sum’s racial group is actually disproportionally under-arrested. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are seven percent of the U.S. population but comprise only 1.4 percent of American inmates. If we believe systemic racism is the culprit behind disparities in the justice system, then Asians appear to benefit from it. But logical consistency isn’t one of the Left’s strong suits. The Left says Asians, by virtue of not being white, are oppressed by police and deserve special privileges when dealing with law enforcement.
The Washington court decision is just the latest action in racial mania from progressives. King County, the home of Seattle, basically apologized last week for the offense of arresting blacks disproportionately. Instead of saying it’s due to the police department simply arresting those who committed crimes—regardless of race—officials said the numbers show they need to do more to curb “racial bias.” Police arresting criminals is a reason to feel shame in 2022 America.
The Democrats’ criminal justice reform bill–named the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act–encourages law enforcement to notice race when it comes to stops and arrests. If a department was found to disproportionately arrest a particular minority group, that may be grounds for a federal investigation into their alleged bigotry. So the police would need to take measures to avoid this unfortunate outcome. This would likely mean cops would stop and detain innocent whites and Asians and allow black and Hispanic criminals to roam free just to reduce racial disparities. However, under the Washington Supreme Court’s standard, Asians would be protected—only whites would be subjected to the new racial quota system.
That bill passed the House of Representatives last year. Fortunately, it died in the Senate, but that shouldn’t be too much of a reassurance. Pretty much every congressional Democrat and the White House believe police should implement racial preferences in arrests. That’s an un-American and deeply poisonous idea. Police would look the other way when they see crime if the perp’s race has already exceeded its quota. Worst, they would then arrest innocent people solely to please race commissars.
This insanity underscores why Republicans shouldn’t give any credence to the Left’s claims of police racism. These lies only lead to more crime, more injustice, and more idiocy from judges and lawmakers. A criminal’s skin color shouldn’t allow him to escape justice. That would be the real systemic racism.