Recently, police in the USA arrested a famous Harvard University professor who was in his own home. The professor was (African American) Henry Louis Gates. Very probably, this was racial profiling: prejudice says that if you are Black, the only reason why you might supposedly be in a neighbourhood with expensive houses, is because you are a burglar. This became a big row. President Obama reacted as well and was attacked hysterically by Right wingers for that.
Prejudice against African Americans is not the only prejudice which sometimes rears its head in United States police forces. In 2007, a Spanish professor, a guest at a United States historians’ congress, was thrown into jail for jaywalking.
And now, it seems that even if you are not Black, but just elderly and you do not have an ID card, police may suspect you of being a criminal. From Big News Network:
London, Aug 15 : A novice policewoman got hold of an “eccentric old man acting suspiciously”, failing to recognize that the individual was Bob Dylan.
The 22-year-old officer left for New Jersey town of Long Branch after residents call in to complain about a suspicious man in the Latin quarter.
The officer found that the man was not carrying a driving licence or any other form of an ID proof.
The policewoman then drove Dylan to his hotel in the police car to find out if his story was correct.
It was only when she radioed her colleagues at the police station that she found out it was hitmaker Bob Dylan.
A spokesman for Long Branch police has confirmed that the incident took place last month at the seaside town on the Jersey shore.
The Telegraph quoted a police officer as saying: “It has been the talk of the station.
“The policewoman was very young and did not recognise Dylan. There was another officer with her and even he did not recognise Dylan.
“Both said they never listened to his music and had no idea what he looked like.”
Suse Rotolo and Bob Dylan’s Left Period: here.
Bob Dylan, ‘The Witmark Demos 1962-1964.’ Hear many of his early, unreleased demos: here.
A black man in San Francisco said he was questioned by police last week after a neighbor accused him of “breaking into” his own high-end lemonade stand.