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Saturday, October 1, 2005

Profiling is charged in drug case
Lawrence man held since 2001
By Shaun Sutner TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
[email protected]


WORCESTER- Experts on racial profiling, mathematics and statistics dueled yesterday in a lengthy court hearing to determine if a judge made the right decision two years ago in throwing out evidence and an admission in the drug arrest of a Hispanic man on Interstate 290 in Auburn.

On Sept. 18, 2003, Superior Court Judge John S. McCann ruled inadmissible as evidence two pounds of cocaine that Andres Lora, now 55, of Lawrence, had in his car when state Trooper Brendan Shugrue stopped the vehicle for a left-lane violation two years earlier. While the judge said it was appropriate to stop the car, he ruled that the search that turned up the drugs could have been motivated by racial profiling, the practice of unfairly singling out suspects because of race.

Mr. Lora, a dark-skinned Dominican immigrant, has been held without bail at the Worcester County Jail and House of Correction since his arrest Dec. 20, 2001. Yesterday, prosecutors tried to get Judge McCann to reverse his decision, arguing that Mr. Lora's civil rights had not been violated.

Mr. Lora's lawyer, Michael H. Erlich, argued that his client had been targeted because of his ethnicity and the suppression of evidence should stand. He pointed out that the state Legislature recently enacted a law requiring police to record the race of drivers they stop.

"This statute was designed because the Legislature found a problem in the state with regard to racial profiling," Mr. Erlich said.

Testimony centered on whether statistics compiled by Mr. Erlich from 263 traffic stops showed that Trooper Shugrue stopped and searched the vehicles of a disproportionate number of minorities over a four-month period before and after Mr. Lora's arrest in 2001.

An expert witness for the defense, Scott Evans, a Harvard School of Public Health biostatistician, testified that an "exact" statistical test demonstrates a strong association between race and the vehicle stops the trooper made in Auburn.

Sixteen, or 31 percent, of the stops in Auburn were of Hispanics, while in other communities, Hispanics accounted for only 6 percent of the stops.

The data compiled by Mr. Erlich also included demographic data for Auburn showing the town with 15,482 whites, 150 Hispanics and 110 blacks. Based on that, the trooper stopped Hispanics far out of proportion to their numbers as residents.

"The only difference in his actions would be race," Mr. Evans said.

However, in his cross-examination of Mr. Evans, Assistant District Attorney James R. Lemire, questioned his reliance on Mr. Erlich's data and noted that Mr. Evans did not examine the actual traffic citations.

Mr. Lemire argued that the racial composition of drivers on the highway that passes through Auburn could differ greatly from the town itself, which would skew Mr. Evan's analysis. He noted that 90 percent of the vehicles Trooper Shugrue stopped were from out of town, and 30 percent were from out of state.

"I don't have demographics for the highway," Mr. Evans said.

Mr. Lemire noted that 15 of the 16 left-lane violation stops Trooper Shugrue made in Auburn were after dark, suggesting that the trooper did not know the race of the drivers.

A prosecution witness, Northeastern University criminal justice professor Donna Bishop, criticized the use of what she termed census-based data such as that employed by the defense as a "baseline" against which to judge officers' vehicle stop patterns.

She maintained that the only accurate way to uncover racial profiling by police is to compare the actions of individual officers to the rest of the officers in a department or to record drivers' ethnicity by observing actual driving patterns.

"It is inappropriate to use the percent of stops that involve minorities and compare them across jurisdictions to establish bias," she said. "That sort of comparison is of no value. That method of benchmarking is outmoded because it is highly likely to yield erroneous conclusions."

Another prosecution witness, WPI mathematics professor Joseph Petruccelli, testified that the defense statistical approach was "very questionable." To be valid, the trooper's data "should come from some group like the population of drivers on 290."

The judge said he will likely issue his decision in November or December. The next court date is Nov. 21.

Contact Shaun Sutner by e-mail at [email protected].

This is an absolute disgrace. Just another way to get an obviously guilty drug dealer off. Gotta love those racial profiling studies, they are working wonders keeping our streets safe!!!
 

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PBC FL Cop said:
Saturday, October 1, 2005
"It is inappropriate to use the percent of stops that involve minorities and compare them across jurisdictions to establish bias," she said. "That sort of comparison is of no value. That method of benchmarking is outmoded because it is highly likely to yield erroneous conclusions."

This is an absolute disgrace. Just another way to get an obviously guilty drug dealer off. Gotta love those racial profiling studies, they are working wonders keeping our streets safe!!!
Uh huh, finally someone under oath and on the record getting the ideas correct.....

I'm also curious if this was a PC or consent search....., and what the evidence was, not the theory of some pencil pusher d*** at northeastern.....
 
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The simple solution to charges of racial profiling is to not conduct traffic stops.

If the brass get on your ass about tickets, sit on an intersection with a "No Left Turn" sign, or some other equally obscure signage, during daylight hours. Grab the first white person you see blow the sign, give them a written warning, and you're done for the shift.

People get the police they deserve.
 

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Sixteen, or 31 percent, of the stops in Auburn were of Hispanics, while in other communities, Hispanics accounted for only 6 percent of the stops
What a bunch of crap. What else are you going to get on 290, 190 with Worcester right there.
 

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2 lbs of Cocaine taken off the street. The trooper should be getting a medal. Instead the politically correct ambulance chasers are trying to get the case tossed based on racial profiling. Its amazing the priorities of the courts these days. I am actually contemplating going to law school when I finish my masters degree the more stories like this I hear the more I think I dont want to be a lawyer.
 

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290 and 190 area is the coridor to the Puerto Rican & Dominican Wonderland. You spit a lungie out the window of your cruiser and your bound to hit a few. That's not racial profiling.
 

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Lets forget the common sense, uh judge, I used to stop the Amish and elderly women, but never found two pounds of cocaine on them. Nobody wants to admit that it might just be a dark skinned crime gene as the common denominator here.
 

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screw you...
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What!!?? What the hell??? We have drugs and hispanics in Worcester?? Urban legends man. I work Main South and I can tell you there are NO drugs or hispanics in that area......
 

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Yep...I profile....Have been doing it since I started thirteen years ago...I do it to stay alive and to get badguys...Thats what it's all about...every human profiles. Its human nature... real cops do it every minute of every day because it's human nature and human instinct on top of police nature and instinct....if you can't profile efficiently in this job you are doomed...unfortunately race is a factor in profiling just like time, location, circumstance, enviroment, age, gender....One must love the liberal mentality......The trick is being able to describe the realities of it all on the stand and a judge that will let you give the explanation....it could be nothing more than a MV violation, disorderly/ ABPO or the biggest drug interdiction bust in history...you were there and dealt with people and began to profile them and/or the situation right away. Your perceptions of the badguy and the situation dictates your actions....You profile?...Yes counselor I do...and I hope and pray every one of my brother officer does the same...That way we all stay alive and do the job we are sworn to do....
 

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I've worked with Trooper Shugrue, and he's one of the best in the business. He consistantly makes good drug pinches from whites, blacks, hispanics and anyone else who is committing a crime.
 

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Delta 784, you hit the nail on the head! Just stop white males and your teat will never be 'in the wringer'.

Unfortunately for the lemmings, their communities will be overrun by drugs and the attendant violence...and they will have no basis to complain, as they voted for it!

New Orleans, here we come!
 

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"....You profile?...Yes counselor I do..."


That response will get you a federal lawsuit!!! The correct response would be " my training and experience" led me to believe the A##hole was carrying a large amount of narcotics. Well, maybe not the A##hole part, but I am sure you get my drift. So that some liberal ACLU lawyer does'nt put the lawsuit idea into the piece of sh## ear. Just my two cents!!
 

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I hate to break it to the defense but more people than just Auburn residents travel on I290. Last time I knew it was a busy highway near Worcester, but maybe since then it has turned into a tiny cul-de-sac neighborhood where only Auburn residents travel.

Anytime someone has no defense whatsoever the profiling defense comes out. It is the last chance defense for dealers. The sad part is the judges, juries, etc. actually believe the crap that is fed to them.
Good pinch by the Troop!
 

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Shitbox=Shithead, has worked for me for years with great results. Call it what you will but it works for proactive cops.
 

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"290 and 190 area is the corridor to the Puerto Rican & Dominican Wonderland. You spit a lungie out the window of your cruiser and your bound to hit a few. That's not racial profiling."
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You're an ignorant fool, I-190 and 290 is not the PR and Dominican Corridor, 290 happens to be the shortest route to North-Eastern New England and North-Eastern Canada from the Mid-Atlantic States. Obviously you're going to have every demographic driving on these roads.

The Trooper involved does deserve a medal, and this guy is obviously playing the race card to try and get off, but don't think for one second that Caucasian or other races are any more innocent out there.
 

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Funny...the vast majority of stops I make on the highway, the people AREN'T from the town or city I stop them in....I guess that's why people COMMUTE on the highway rather than surface roads...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Deuce said:
Why aren't the white people crying about profiling? Hell I profile them all day long...
Because thats not racial profiling, thats good police work. The other way of course would make you a racist and a radical white supremest klansman, who should be thrown off the police force!!
 
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