According to Stanford Study, Police Searches show bias
According to an analysis of traffic stop data conducted by Stanford University researchers, police officers across the United States are more likely to cite, search and arrest black and Latino drivers during routine traffic stops than white drivers. The study was published in June and the findings are based on a nationwide database of state patrol stops created by Stanford researchers. The database is part of the Stanford Open Policing Project, which contains details from more than 100 million records of traffic stop-and-search data across 31 states from 2011-2015 as part of an effort to statistically analyze police practices. Cheryl Phillips, a journalism lecturer at Stanford and part of the university’s Computational Journalism Lab, stated:
Not only did we find minorities are ticketed and arrested more often, we also found that police in general will use a lower bar to search minorities than whites. They have a lower threshold. In general, we found evidence of discrimination and disparities to be across all states and across all geographies where we have the data
The data shows that, in the Bay Area, black drivers were pulled over at about twice the rate that white drivers were. In San Mateo County, police pulled over 23 black drivers for every 100 black drivers they encountered on the road, compared to just 12 white drivers for every 100 encountered. In San Francisco County, police pulled over 20 black drivers for every 100 they countered, compared to eight out of 100 white drivers. Santa Clara County officers pulled over 13 black drivers for every 100 compared to 7 percent of whites and in Contra Costa County, 14 blacks for every 100 encountered were pulled over compared to 6 whites per 100. The study is interesting and hopefully it leads to more research being done regarding the same topic.