The New York Times has published a report detailing their findings on the disproportionate cases and consequences Blacks face during traffic stops in comparison to Whites. The investigative report concentrated on arrest data in Greensboro, NC dating back to 2010, while inserting additional relevant cases and findings from other cities and states around the country including Ferguson, MO, New Jersey, Nebraska, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
The report found that while Blacks constitute 39 percent of Greensboro’s citizens that are of driving-age, they make up 54 percent of the drivers pulled over. Simultaneously, while only 48 percent of Greensboro’s population is White, the city’s police force is 75 percent Caucasian.
One passage from the report states:
Here in North Carolina’s third-largest city, officers pulled over African-American drivers for traffic violations at a rate far out of proportion with their share of the local driving population. They used their discretion to search black drivers or their cars more than twice as often as white motorists — even though they found drugs and weapons significantly more often when the driver was white.
Officers were more likely to stop black drivers for no discernible reason. And they were more likely to use force if the driver was black, even when they did not encounter physical resistance.
Studying traffic stops is important because they’re the most common interaction the public has with the police, thereby forming law enforcement’s public image. The relationship the police has with the public is now more tense than ever, given protests against police brutality that erupted all over the country in cities like Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, San Francisco and New Orleans. What’s more, Blacks’ disproportionate experience of being stopped by the police has a long lasting impact by disadvantaging those without finances and other resources they need to protect themselves in legal battles.
The NYT lists a range of personal accounts from Black residents speaking on their experiences of being stopped by the police that include young men being framed for possessing illegal substances after being pulled over to senior citizens being accused of prostitution while being parked outside of their homes. Read the full report here.
[SOURCE: New York Times]