Thursday, October 1, 2020

Stanford Research: Black and Latino Drivers More Likely to be Arrested on Less Evidence

More than 20 million Americans are stopped annually for traffic violations; Stanford researchers found that Black and Latino drivers face a double standard when compared to their white counterparts. The findings come from an analysis of more than 60 million state police stops in 20 states between 2011 and 2015.

“When we applied the threshold test to our traffic stop data, we find police require less suspicion to search black and Hispanic drivers than whites. This double standard is evidence of discrimination,” the findings noted.

The research database represents the largest collection of traffic-stop data ever collected, and was made public on Monday by the Stanford Open Policing Project. Black drivers were found to be stopped at a higher rate than white motorists, with Latinos stopped at a similar or lower rate than whites.

Black and Latino drivers are ticketed, searched and arrested more often than whites. Black drivers in the county were searched six times per 100 stops; the rate for Latinos was four searches per 100 stops and for whites, two searches per 100 stops.

Researchers noted that such disparities alone do not automatically indicate a racial bias, and could in fact reflect differences in driving behavior and other factors. The study also found that in Los Angeles County, black drivers are stopped more than whites and Latinos.

LA Times