Driving While Black: NC's racial profiling problem continues

Your "probable cause" is actually racism:

We spent two months on a special Times-News data investigation of these roadside stops in three counties – Alamance, Davidson and Randolph – sorting and analyzing the police stops for 11 jurisdictions covering a span of nine years. It became clear in the investigation that white people are being treated differently by police.

In the police agencies in and near Burlington, Black drivers are stopped 58 percent more often than white drivers, when you consider demographics. And in the full region we studied, including 11 Triad area police departments, Black drivers were stopped at an even higher rate — twice as often as white drivers, compared to what local demographics would indicate.

And before you say, "But Steve, they are more likely to have mechanical problems with their cars, blah blah blah," SC Republican Senator Tim Scott was pulled over 7 times in one year:

Following last week's deadly shootings, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott gave a deeply personal speech on the Senate floor in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday about the "deep divide" between communities and law enforcement.

While many law enforcement officers do good, he said, some do not. "I've experienced it myself."

Scott revealed that he has been stopped seven times in the course of one year as an elected official. "Was I speeding sometimes? Sure. But the vast majority of the time I was pulled over for driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or something else just as trivial."

He described several encounters with police, including one where he was stopped because the officer suspected his car was stolen. He described a similar incident that happened to his brother, a command sergeant major in the U.S. Army. And he told the story of a staffer who was "pulled over so many times here in D.C. for absolutely no reason other than driving a nice car." The staffer eventually traded in his Chrysler for a "more obscure form of transportation" because "he was tired of being targeted."

So yeah, that broken taillight thing is a myth, perpetuated by those who refuse to acknowledge systemic racism in policing. Beat up car, you're a low-level drug dealer. Fancy car, you're a high-level drug dealer. If you're black. But if you're white, you're assumed to be a law-abiding citizen, unless you're flying down the Interstate at 95 mph knocking cars aside.

Back to the OP, and the next (and most dangerous) phase of racial profiling: the vehicle search:

Our analysis also found disparities in the number of Black people searched compared to white people during roadside stops, whether spread against the side of a car by cops and frisked or having their vehicle gone through.

Once local police have pulled someone over, they are about 50% more likely to search the driver or their vehicle if the driver is Black compared to if they are white, our exclusive Times-News investigation found.

For Tyler Whittenberg, chief counsel at the Southern Coalition for Justice, these disparities are evidence of ongoing racial bias against Black people across the country.

“The criminal justice system as it is now, we see it as an extension of the Jim Crow period of slavery of Black people,” he said. “The control of movement, the targeting of individuals simply because they are in a place ... they are ‘not supposed to be in' simply because they are Black.”

How many (white people) reading this have ever been asked to exit their vehicle during a traffic stop? How many of you have had your vehicle searched, with or without your permission? Very few I would imagine, if any. You've got the 4th Amendment to thank for that. But apparently that Constitution doesn't cover all citizens.

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