Ensler: When Crime Alerts hurt more than help

Sophomore Phillip Ensler, a political science major, calls on UPD to stop including overly general descriptions of suspects in crime alerts.

If you attend or are employed by GW, it is likely that you have read a similar description countless times in the University Police Department’s “Crime Alert” e-mails. At GW, we have become so accustomed to reading these messages – and seeing the words “black male” – that we seldom even contemplate the described situation. We simply skim the e-mail, cringe at the idea of being robbed, and then continue to go about our business. Such ambiguous, generic descriptions do not sufficiently contribute to preventing crime on campus and have the damaging effect of perpetuating an unfavorable view of black men.

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