The Police, the Judiciary, and Stereotyping by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH

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by Steven Jonas, MD, MPH
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Dandelion Salad
crossposted on
July 31, 2009

Much has been written about Prof. “Skip” Gates and his trial-by-Crowley. I have a few comments to add on the matter, possibly even an original thought or two. But first, I would like to share with you a long-ago personal experience with stereotyping and the cops, in this case the New York City variety, as a white person.

In the early 1970s, I took part in an unauthorized anti-war march from City Hall in New York City up Sixth Avenue. While it was unauthorized, the cops did not try to break it up, but rather controlled traffic as long as we kept moving. We reached about 39th Street and Sixth and came to a halt. Word went round that the march leadership was negotiating a peaceful end to it, through Bryant Park that lies on Sixth, between 40th and 42nd streets. At that point, needing to get back soon to my job at the Morrisania City Hospital, I left the body of the march and was watching events from the sidewalk on the east side of the avenue.

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