HARRY C. ALFORD

A few weeks ago, in the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington, D.C., C. Nicole Mason was hosting a party during the Memorial Day weekend. Her neighbor called the police and complained of loud noise. Usually this would cause a citation order, which would require her to go see a judge and possibly face a fine. But this policeman had other plans for this Black female living in the richest zip code in Washington, DC. He took her to the local police station where “she was photographed, fingerprinted and briefly put into a cell” according to the Washington, Post. She later received a formal apology from DC’s Chief of Police

Besides humiliation and mistreatment Ms. Mason probably doesn’t know the worst thing that happened to her. She was fingerprinted. That will cause a life time of disruption. Whenever you get fingerprinted by police the results are sent to the FBI headquarters for entry into their database and will stay there forever. If she is up for a prominent assignment to a governmental board or a position that requires a security clearance the “arrest” is going to pop up. Not the unnecessary and stupid fingerprinting done by an admonished policeman. It will be assumed a criminal arrest. That could be next week or 15 years from now. It is there and it will never be expunged.

Minorities in this nation are plagued by this kind of unnecessary action on an ongoing basis. The fact is there are millions of young minorities who get into the FBI database and those fingerprinting records are there to stay. If you were not indicted; not convicted; case thrown out or even all charges are erased from your records. Those fingerprints remain in that FBI database and will be reported via any simple background check. To the person receiving the report he will think “arrest” and nothing positive is going to come out of this.

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