In the 90’s, black motorists on I-95 learned that certain police departments were using racial profiling to choose which vehicles to pull over. Now, just off that highway in Wilmington, Del., the cops are using a new form of profiling — based on geography rather than race — to detain and photograph citizens standing on certain crime-plagued corners.
Under Operation Bold Eagle, inaugurated in May, as many as 20 Wilmington police officers roam the city’s toughest neighborhoods in unmarked vehicles, searching for packs of curbside drug dealers. When they find a guilty-looking crew, they quickly empty into the street in a show of force and confront every potential suspect in sight. Police call them ”corner deployment units.” Local residents refer to them as ”jump-out squads.”
Some of the targets of the operation are arrested, while others are simply told to leave the area.