May 29, 2002

Blazers' Randolph arrested on underage drinking charge: A .08 blood level is like, one beer? Can we spell "Racial Profiling?"

posted by djacobs to basketball at 11:24 AM - 20 comments

I was arrested once for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct. Given, I was wasted at the time, but I'm still pissed about it. Alas, I'm white, so I guess I have no one else to blame, but myself.

posted by 86 at 11:32 AM on May 29, 2002

Plus, he's a Blazer!!! Before we limit this to "racial profiling" I think we need a broader investigation into "Blazer profiling".

posted by 86 at 11:33 AM on May 29, 2002

.08 is the limit in Oregon though, you don't have to show any kind of impariment to be charged, just as long as your BAC is at or above that level. I don't know about the racial profiling though, but it's entirely possible.

posted by corpse at 11:36 AM on May 29, 2002

Oh, but i just read the article (duh), and it says he was less than half of .08, but since he was underage the limit is 0.00.

posted by corpse at 11:38 AM on May 29, 2002

Bullshit. This isn't profiling at all. First of all for a 200 pound man, .08 corresponds to four drinks in an hour, not "like, one beer." Second, you missed the point of the story. Randolph's BAC was actually half of the .08. He was arrested for underage drinking, not driving while drunk. I don't know about you, but where I grew up (and went to school) a lot of people were nailed for underage drinking -- white and black. In fact, like Mr. Randolph, I attended the great Michigan State University. Of course, that's probably where he learned to drink. I'm not saying I agree with the severity of the underage drinking law, I'm just saying there's no reason to suspect he was treated more harshly than anyone else.

posted by jmpeterson at 11:42 AM on May 29, 2002

Randolph was arrested shortly before midnight Friday after city police stopped the sport utility vehicle he was driving because it matched the description of an SUV being used by gang members.
This is classic racial profiling! jmp - I know his BAC was HALF of .08, which is infitesimal. Have you ever driven home after 1 or 2 beers? Chances are he was pulled over because he was black.

posted by djacobs at 11:48 AM on May 29, 2002

Actually, based on your quote this was a case of "SUV profiling," not racial profiling. How do we know it wasn't a Mexican gang?

posted by jmpeterson at 12:14 PM on May 29, 2002

What would a Mexican Gang be doing in Indiana? Most of them hang out in Mexico, I think.

posted by djacobs at 01:06 PM on May 29, 2002

I'm in an Irish-Mexican gang in New Jersey.

posted by 86 at 01:21 PM on May 29, 2002

86, is it the Swarthy Shamrocks? I think I bought a stereo from you guys. Bottom line on this whole thing is that if you're underage, don't be driving. I don't know if it was racial profiling or not, but the fact of the matter is that the cops caught a guy who was breaking the law. Good for them. When you're going to be in the spotlight, you have to be smarter than that. I'm betting he could probably have afforded the cab ride home.

posted by Samsonov14 at 01:37 PM on May 29, 2002

And thank you Samsonov for your business and for taking advantage of the unlimited set-up. My actual point, poorly made, was that the thread had deteriorated to Mexican gang in Indiana or Mexico or wherever. That's just silly. Also silly is the claim that this must have been a case of profiling. An equally presumptive, but more easily supported claim could say that the cops pulled him over because they'd been given a description of an SUV involved in a crime and the description matched Randolph's car. Say the dispatcher said they should be on the look-out for "Silver, Mercedes SUV, multiple male, African-American occupants in the vicinity of Townname, Indiana". That reading works just as well as DJacobs' and I can't find any reason why that would include "racial profiling". Even if your main complaint is that he was arrested after being cleared for a seemingly minor crime, the article shouldn't make you jump to the "profiling" conclusion. Couldn't that stem from any number of other factors? Maybe Randolph had a snotty attitude. Maybe his passenger mouthed off. Maybe they'd been drinking and that's illegal in to do at the age of 19 in Indiana. Maybe they ran into the Joe Friday of Indiana cops. Frankly, we don't know anything about this case and making judgments based on the knowledge gained from an AP report like this is premature. As such, I think DJacobs is guilty of profiling cops as racist bastards.

posted by 86 at 02:09 PM on May 29, 2002

As such, I think DJacobs is guilty of profiling cops as racist bastards. hell yeah.

posted by djacobs at 02:17 PM on May 29, 2002

I cannot think of a reason for black NBA players to be immune to the law. Equal treatment under the law also applies when you break it. AND - .08 is considered intoxicated in many states and thousands of studies illustrate driving impairment at that level. I think there is a enough racial profiling, and distrust and disparity around; we don't have to create it where it doesn't exist do we?

posted by Rhysling at 06:29 AM on May 30, 2002

I agree. I'm not sure how racial profiling comes into play here. It was Memorial Day Weekend. Do you have any idea how many people get pulled over on Memorial Day Weekend?

posted by Samsonov14 at 07:47 AM on May 30, 2002

But Rhysling - his blood was not .08. It was LESS THAN HALF of .08. .08 is 3-4 drinks, by jmp's charts. so 3.5 drinks. so < 1.75 drinks? That's not nearly as much of a rish as you think. "Gang activity" is the excuse cop's love to use to pull over black drivers. I agree drunk driving is a crime, but he was NOT DRUNK. Underage drinking is worth 6 months?

posted by djacobs at 09:59 AM on May 30, 2002

Ok, DJacobs, he wasn't "drunk", but it's also a crime to drink any amount of alcohol in Indiana at the age of 19 and 20. Clearly, that is illegal, though I would say it's minor. I would never suggest that he should get or deserve 6 months and frankly, he'll get off with nothing when his lawyers get on the case. Regardless, any significant fine or sentence would be way overboard unless he's shown some other reason that would cause a stiffer penalty. This brings me to my main point of contention with your post... I can think of a half-dozen reasons other than "racial profiling" why Randolph was pulled over and why he was arrested for this minor charge. Many have been illustrated here. You jumped to the conclusion that this was profiling immediately and that's not right. Again, you have no idea of the specific circumstances regarding the arrest. You have no idea who made the arrest. You have no idea about the details of the situation. You have no idea about the character of the police officers and yet, based on the thin details of an AP report, you're willing to mark them as racists, motivated solely by bigotry. Look, you could be right, I don't know these things either, but by jumping straight to that conclusion when any of 6 or 7 other possible scenarios exist makes you an awful lot like them, doesn't it? Immediately you disparage someone you don't know, don't know anything about even, without any cause. How can you justify that?

posted by 86 at 10:36 AM on May 30, 2002

"Frankly, we don't know anything about this case and making judgments based on the knowledge gained from an AP report like this is premature." Correct, 86. Maybe it's racial profiling, maybe it's not. But it's just as silly to dismiss the legitimacy of the question as it is to automatically conclude that this was an iffy stop by the cops. The story says the cops stopped Randolph's SUV because it matched the description of a similar vehicle used by gang members. By gang members doing what? Coming from the scene of a crime? Speeding? Swerving? Running red lights? Give us a busted tail-light, something. Otherwise, it sounds like an illegal stop, at least to a layman. And if you're on such high alert to bust gang members, why do you interrupt your operation to collar someone off a drunk stop if the guy isn't driving dangerously? If it's Memorial Day weekend, why are you tailing one particular car? Once again, it could have been anything, and the reporter simply could have left these facts out or perhaps did not ask the cops. It simply raises questions. Asking them doesn't make you Al Sharpton. As far as Randolph's drinking, he and his buddy did not need to lip off to the cops nor did the officer have to be Joe Friday. Randolph simply had to be drinking underage, and yes, he would need way more than one beer to meet .08 -- he weighs closer to three bills than to two. But I don't think that was the issue that djacobs was posing.

posted by jackhererra at 10:45 AM on May 30, 2002

Also, Djacobs, you screwed up on the Blood Alcohol chart. Randolph is over 250 lbs, not 200, as your "math" would suggest. And the chart is for "drinks in one hour", not over the course of an evening. But I'm just being a dickhole about that because I can. To get back to a real point of contention, djacobs, I'm not sure what your point is about the six months. Six months is the maximum an underage drunk driver can face, regardless of race. It's not like white basketball players have a maximum of 3 months. So let's leave that out. I guess you're saying that it's racial profiling because the police said that he was pulled over because his SUV matched the description of one being used by gang members. Fair enough for starters, but there's about a million missing details that need to be filled in before we start accusing people of racism here. Anyway, best of luck with that chip on your shoulder.

posted by Samsonov14 at 10:56 AM on May 30, 2002

assuming that djacobs has jumped the gun, i'm not sure it's the same thing as having a chip on one's shoulder.

posted by jackhererra at 11:49 AM on May 30, 2002

The "hell yeah" comment kinda covers that.

posted by 86 at 12:39 PM on May 30, 2002

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