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Stopping a Kidnapper in a Philadelphia Convenience Store: Heroism, or Racial Profiling?


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"Philadelphia Convenience Store Clerk Hailed as Hero for Stopping Alleged Kidnapping" by Kelly Stevenson on abcnews.go.com

Where is the dividing line between what this clerk did, and racial profiling?

"Acting on a hunch" is very tenuous in my eyes - George Zimmerman pretty much said the same thing about Trayvon Martin.

I honestly don't know the answer to this, and I'm very curious to hear other people's opinions on the scenario.

Maybe the victim looked at the clerk, and briefly made her eyes as wide as saucers? That could certainly justify it, at least in my mind.

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The answer to your question lies in what led to the clerk's hunch. Only he knows for certain. If he was thinking, "that woman doesn't belong with that man," then yes, it was racial profiling. But there have been countless new stories of women being rescued because observant passersby picked up on nonverbal clues that they were being held captive. Yes, it could be eyes as wide as saucers. She could have been shaking. It could have been the way she walked and held her body that indicated something was wrong. In many news accounts of similar rescues, the victim, captor and rescuer are all the same race. 

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