Why is Race so Important to the Police?

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I’ve always thought that racism is one thing regarding police that is blown out of proportion. Sure they’re racist, but I’ve never pictured them as any more racist than anyone else. It’s just hard not to picture black folks as being more likely to commit crime. It’s just a preconception that you simply can’t get out of your head, so we can’t fault them for being human.

When I called 911 about the shooting I watched in front of my apartment, one of the first things they asked was the race of the people. I let this slide because race is something many people are likely to remember but feel uncomfortable about mentioning in a situation like that, so it makes sense for them to ask.

However, last week, when I reported my credit card fraud to the police, one of the first things the officer asked–the only thing I can remember that didn’t directly relate to my finances–was what race I was.

Why? How is this relevant to identity theft? The unauthorized purchase occurred in Taiwan. It seems likely the person¬†never even saw my face, and certainly doesn’t care what race I am. Strange.

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