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But Chief Thomas Dale of Patrol Borough Queens South said at the meeting that racial profiling is illegal and not practiced by the 106th.Trevor Rupnarain, a Richmond Hill attorney, said he organized the discussion with residents, Dale and 106th Precinct Deputy Inspector John Doherty at Naresa Palace in South Ozone Park after pleas from the community that they are not treated with proper respect by cops.He said there is a "diminished trust and confidence" of the police among the neighborhoods' Guyanese population, where he claimed residents are being stopped and given tickets for traffic violations with undue cause. He said residents should not be given a ticket while dropping off an elderly resident onto Liberty Avenue."This does not happen in every other community, as we know," Rupnarain said. He said Guyanese should not be stopped and asked if they were drinking if they happen to come out of a nightclub because there are some "who drink water and Red Bull all night and it doesn't mean anything."Dale disputed the notion that racial profiling exists in the community."We don't profile anybody. It's against our procedures and our rules," he said. "We don't do it."The chief said officers pull a car over when there is suspicion, otherwise the case would get thrown out in court. He also said there are no quotas for tickets.Doherty backed up Dale by saying the 106th does not profile. Some of the reasons for stopping a car include failing to signal and having headlights turned off at night, he said. Dale encouraged residents with complaints to attend the 106th Precinct Community Council meetings and said the friction between the neighborhood and police stems from misunderstandings."It's important that we get to know each other," he said. "If we work together, we'll be very strong."That sentiment was echoed by a Guyanese resident, although they claimed it is the police who need to learn about his people's culture.He said the cops "need to understand us, from the food we eat and the way we live to the way we party.""Before you help us, you have to know Guyanese people," said a female real estate broker. "They like to work hard for what they have in their lives. Very few would do something illegal."Community activist Chuck Mohan said more cops should be from the Guyanese community and claimed police "don't have a clue."They see us as a bunch of immigrants who have no right to be here," he said.Dale's opinion on racial profiling was not shared by others at the forum."Lower down the ranks, there are problems with police methods that are used," said Albert Baldeo. He called some of the tactics "arrogant" and "somewhat oppressive."Resident Mohamed Sayaad Farrouq said he was held in the 112th Precinct and arrested for "driving under the influence of drugs" while trying to pick up a relative on 107th Street and Liberty Avenue after leaving a mosque.He said the officer asked if he was drinking and denied him a breathalyzer test despite his claim that he was sober. Farrouq said the cop cursed at him, pulled him out of the door and drove him around Liberty Avenue for three hours saying, "This is what I'm going to do to you Indian guys if you don't straighten up.""So tell me, what's going on here?" Farrouq asked Dale. "It's ridiculous."Dale said what Farrouq described "is not the way we should be doing business" and asked him to register his dispute with the Civilian Complaint Review Board.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2007 Community Newspaper Group
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