“Police: 3 Men ‘Suspiciously’ Videotaping At Santa Monica Pier: Police Say Men Were Filming Access Roads, Security Structures,” from NBC4, with thanks to LB:
SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Three men who were seen videotaping the Santa Monica pier in a suspicious manner have been identified and were seen videotaping in other communities, police said Thursday.
All three men were of Middle Eastern descent, NBC4 reported. The men’s nationalities had nothing to do with the investigation, police said.
Sure. But do you happen to know if they hold to a certain ideology?
“Ordinarily, when tourists videotape, they don’t videotape security structures for an extended period of time,” said Santa Monica Police Chief James T. Butts. “They don’t focus on access roads, and usually, the tourists themselves are in the photographs to document they were there, and that’s not what these photgraphs showed.”
The three men were not arrested, police said.
At least one community leader, however, questioned whether or not racial profiling was involved, NBC4 reported.
NBC4 does not report, however, on the background of the organization represented by this particular community leader.
“That creates this kind of confusion, this kind of fear that if someone is Middle Eastern and filming, does that fall into the category of being suspicious?” Sabiha Khan, of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said. “So, behavior should be profiled, not people.”
Look, Sabiha, James Butts did talk about their behavior, and explained why it was not that of the ordinary tourist. It would be a lot easier for me to be sympathetic to what you’re saying if it were actually an accurate characterization of what happened.
Also: where are these men now? What are they doing? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?