Rapper teaming up with police to fight ethnic profiling

Typhoon will work with the police in their training to avoid racial profiling, the rapper said on Instagram. He is responding to a request Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice made in parliament on Tuesday.

Minister Van der Steur met with the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of parliament, on Tuesday afternoon following an incident in Zwolle on Monday in which Typhoon was pulled over by the police because his skin color and age did not suit the fancy car he was driving.

In the Kamer Van der Steur said that he would approach Typhoon, real name Glenn de Randamie, NOS reports. "Maybe he is in a position to record a video or something from his own experience for the whole force, as part of the training", he said. "So that policemen can experience what happened to him and what that does to you." Van der Steur thinks it will help if Typhoon again draws attention to the issue of discrimination.

The Minister added that racism and discrimination are "mostly between the ears of men, and not in the coupon book of officers". "Structurally there is no ethnic profiling by the police. But it does happen and I disapprove of it." he said.

On Instagram Typhoon said that he is willing to help in the fight against ethnic profiling. "Provided that this will happen in a structured manner and not to serve as a quick patch for a deeper problem in the Netherlands", he wrote.

VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra agrees with Van der Steur that there is no structural discrimination in the police. According to him, this incident was just a miscalculation by the officers. "We need to look at the facts. We see that certain groups are simply more heavily represented in criminal activities. And when people from that population group are more often arrested when there are suspicious, that makes sense." he said to NOS.

Diederik Samsom, leader of coalition partner PvdA, thinks that there is indeed a structural problem. "Ethnic profiling happens, also in the police. This is not a single miss of an individual police officer. Racism and discrimination are persistently deep in society." he said to the broadcaster.

D66 parliamentarian Fatma Koser Kaya thinks that Van der Steur is sweeping this issue off the table too easily. This time it happened to a celebrity whose car was "too nice", but there are many Dutch people out there faced with this issue daily, the MP pointed out to NU.nl. "Do all those others also get apologies?" she said. The D66 parliamentarian is concerned that a whole generation of Dutch is growing up with enmity towards the police due to racial profiling. "The police is your best friend, but for many Dutch this is not so. The police are not for them, but against them."