Your Family’s Behavior Could Shine Suspicion On You

In doing some research today I came across a statistic that made me catch my breath. African americans make up only 13% of the population in the United States but make up about 40% of the DNA samples in CODIS. Let me back up, CODIS is a database run by the F.B.I. that compiles the information in smaller state and local DNA databases to make one large searchable platform. Very helpful when trying to solve a crime when one has a good DNA sample to work with. It used to be that one would search the database for a perfect match to find the perpetrator. Now, however, the next generation of searching has started where one can search for an almost perfect match or, in other words, a relative of the sample representing the perpetrator. Now things get interesting for all kinds of reasons. Many are worried about privacy concerns, some feel this is a violation of the 4th and 14th amendments to the constitution while others worry that the effect will be felt disproportionally by the African American and Hispanic communities for reasons including their disproportionate representation in the database and their families being larger than average, respectively. What do you think? Is familial searching friend or foe?

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