Overall national percentage of police stopping and searching different races of drivers.
Professor of Race Relations Arrested over Misunderstanding
Published Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
The distinguished Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. — director of Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research — was arrested after police investigated claims that he was trying to break into a house, his own as it turns out. The Professor, who is African-American, has written many books and hosted a public TV series on race relations. Supporters of the professor say this is an incident of racial profiling. Lawrence D. Bobo, the W.E.B Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard, said he hopes Cambridge Police will drop charges against Gates and use the incident to review training and screening procedures it has in place.
A study conducted by the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics between 2002 and 2005 tracked the rates of routine traffic stops in an effort to map Racial Profiling in the US. The data suggested that there was an even chance—between 8.1 – 9.2% of drivers—among White, Black and Hispanic drivers that they would be stopped by police during 2002 and 2005. Yet, of the white drivers stopped, only 3.5 – 3.6% of them were searched in 2002 and 2005; Black and Hispanic drivers who were stopped were searched 10.2-11.4% and 9.5 – 8.8% between 2002 and 2005 respectively.
Expectations are High as Holder Assumes Office
Published Monday, February 9th, 2009
Eric H. Holder Jr.’s swearing-in as the nation’s first black attorney general comes with a heavy expectation of righting wrongs amongst them: disproportionate prison terms for blacks, racial profiling and discrimination in employment and housing. However, in several public statements the new Attorney General has spoken about Civil Rights but did not indicate a great desire to seek out and correct broad wrongs in the criminal code. The last administration tried to limit the use of Racial profiling in a statement 2003, which outlined the guidelines for federal law enforcement officers. President Obama and Attorney General Holder have vowed together the restore public confidence in the department, which has recently been plagued by scandals.
For decades black males have been locked behind bars by the hundreds of thousands, arrested in disproportionate numbers. In fact, black males have experienced the highest rate of imprisonment—6.5 times that of white males and 2.5 that of Hispanic males—of the three major races in the United States. Black males also face execution at rates far greater than those for the general population—approximately 4.5 times more than that of white prisoners and 17.5 times that of Hispanics. In a study of routine traffic stops, racial differences were seen not in stops—blacks and Hispanics were stopped just as often as whites—but overwhelmingly in searches, as blacks and Hispanics were searched nearly 3 times their white counterparts.
Racial Profiling Data Collection - http://www.racialprofilinganalysis.neu.edu/background/history.php
In the late 1990s, in response to allegations of racial profiling, jurisdictions around the country began to track information about those who are stopped, searched, ticketed, and/or arrested by police officers. These data collection efforts are an attempt to provide the tangible numbers that will enable police and community leaders to better understand their policing activities. With this understanding, departments will be able to examine and revamp policing strategies based on effectiveness, reconfigure deployment of police resources, or take other measures.
U.S. Department of Justice: Community Policing Resources - http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/Default.asp?Item=47
Effective crime control requires a collaborative working relationship between law enforcement and the communities that they are sworn to serve and protect. A culture of police integrity is essential in building respect and trust and, in turn, mutual respect and trust between police and citizens is essential to effective crime control.