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Race and DNA

  • Anthony Jackson
    Anthony Jackson

    discuss;

    Reply
    Reclaim_Your_DNA
    Reclaim_Your_DNA

    The BBC reported Home Office figures that show black people have lower offending rates than their white counterparts – so why is the DNA database in the UK made up predominantly of black males? (7 out of ten young black males find themselves on it!). The situation in the US is not much different it seems. Not only does the DNA database betrays the racism of those behind it, caution is further warranted because in the application of familial searching false familial identification may be more likely for individuals with particular genetic backgrounds; for example, in the USA, those of Asian or Native American descent.” More information:Rohlfs RV, Fullerton SM, Weir BS (2012) Familial Identification: Population Structure and Relationship Distinguishability. PLoS Genet8(2): e1002469.doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002469

    Sources for the BBC news article see http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/joepublic/2009/jul/13/dna-database-black-community

    And for the Equality and Human Rights Commission report see:

    http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/raceinbritain/policeandracism.pdf

    Figures compiled from Home Office statistics and census data show almost 40% of black men have their DNA profile on the database. That compares with 13% of Asian men and 9% of white men.’

    With hindsight it was virtually inevitable that over-representation would be evident in profiles retained on the NDNAD following amendments to PACE under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which meant that police could take a DNA sample from anyone arrested for a recordable offence and retain it regardless of whether that person was subsequently charged, prosecuted or convicted.

    This provided the ideal opportunity for racist cops to arrest anyone they don’t like the look it and give the message: “Hey we have you in our sights”. Hey, it probably even aids them in achieving their crime fighting targets!

    This is why in the UK Police are now more familiar with mumbling the required phrase “Necessity for a prompt arrest” than the more commonly known phrase ” anything you say may be recorded and used against you in a court of law”

    Reply
    SUnil
    SUnil

    The taking of DNA is just another law enforcement tool to be used to prey on minority communities which already bear the brunt of aggressive law enforcement tactics

    Reply
    Adrian
    Adrian

    The fact that such a high percentage of minorities find themselves on DNA databases, far outside their percentage in the overall population, is an obviuos sign that this is a serious social issue that needs to be addressed before expansion of databases should even be contemplated

    Reply
    Shankara
    Shankara

    Minrotites are arrested, prosecuted, and convicted – often wrongly – at a far higher rate than whites. As a result, DNA testing of arrested and convicted persons disparately impacts racial minorities.

    Reply
    Ramon
    Ramon

    History is replete with examples of injustices and inequities that were conscripted into law based on racial classification.

    Reply
    Marina
    Marina

    Blacks and Latinos have a greater and unequal probability of having their DNA collected and stored. We need to ensure that DNA databases do not unfairly and disproportionately affect communities of color.

    Reply
    AVA
    AVA

    People are more than 99.9 percent identical at the level of their DNA, this is crazy.

    Reply
    Duana
    Duana

    People are more than 99.9 percent identical at the level of their DNA, the Human Genome Project has found.

    Reply
    Osabie
    Osabie

    Some groups, including young black men, are known to be overrepresented on the database. Im concerned that those with mental health problems, a vulnerable group of people, are similarly affected. This issue has been largely unexamined and there are no estimates for the number of people with mental disorders on the NDNAD. However in 2008, nine percent of mental health inpatients were admitted via the Criminal Justice system . Furthermore, studies of individuals in prison and on remand have concluded that mental disorder is extremely common in these populations with respective rates of 90% and 63% (4,5). It would be surprising if the population of the NDNAD were not to broadly reflect this state of affairs.

    Reply
    samantha
    samantha

    It should be obvious that the same issues with race and class we see with law enforcement generally will be in place with forensic DNA collection and databanking.

    Reply
    Robert
    Robert

    Seems like an exaggeration to me, arent minorities overrepresented in arrests becasue they commit more crimes for which the police are looking like drug arrests etc

    Reply
    Lena
    Lena

    Uh no theyre overrepresented because people of color are targeted by law enforcement!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    Pilar
    Pilar

    Police are trying to use faulty DNA testing methods to create racial profiles of suspects from DNA at crimes. More and more people of color will be unfairly rounded up and arrested

    Reply
    Winona
    Winona

    Race is just a proxy for identifying people to be delegitimized in the eyes of society.

    Reply
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