Greensboro moving in the right direction on police bias

A broken tail light should not land you behind bars:

The police chief in Greensboro, N.C., has ordered his officers to stop pulling over motorists for minor infractions involving vehicle flaws like broken taillights, an action he called a first step toward eliminating “alarming” racial disparities in traffic stops.

The chief also promised to better supervise young officers, a response to data showing that four times as many blacks as whites were charged with the sole offense of resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer after traffic stops and other police encounters. “That, too, is alarming,” he said.

Bolding mine. As a society that is supposed to encourage blind justice, we have failed miserably. We've allowed our law enforcement community to freely exercise discrimination, we've allowed our court system to reject black jurors at an alarming rate, and we've done very little to limit the flow of our school-to-prison pipeline. These biased interactions between cops and random minority drivers are just one aspect of the problem, but fixing it can be a game-changer. Especially for the age range 18-25, where the young person's future is a blank slate. Unfortunately, we also live in a society that has become so self-centered a problem doesn't exist until it affects us individually and directly. Some random facebook comments from said group:

Maybe the Officers should pull up beside the vehicle, if they can confirm that the driver is NOT black, then back off and conduct the stop. Of course if the driver is black, the Officer should just mind his own business and get back to finding more white offenders.

Hope he is ready to be responsible for the increased number of traffic accidents/traffic fatalities. Because that's what will happen when you let people drive around with unsafe equipment.

For the people who forgot, the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh was stopped for a traffic infraction and ultimately brought to justice for his heinous crimes. What short memories people have. what happens now if ya run someones lic. plate for expired registration??? Oh- I bet ya can't do that either- with out a reason to do so even if the expired stickers are right in front of your face- b/c of the "race" of the driver... such bullshit!!! Maybe some of these people shouldn't be on the road and need to go back to public transportation in the first place??? HUMMMMMMM wow- genius idea!

I don't comment often to these posts but feel the need to say that times like this make me regret my decision to be a cop. Not liked or appreciated by public. Not appreciated by the brass for getting anything done. We're now at an age where brass and even the government would much rather a street cop not stop the bad guys if there's any potential for bad press, whether it be a fight or worse. Sounds like the world would rather have us drive around blind or not at all than actually stop people from breaking the law. Some arguments people have almost make it sound like breaking the law is a God given right to begin with and its police who need to justify everything they do and the criminal does not. I know this is not new but its a social change that seems to be getting more popular. Sorry fellow cops guess we're not heroes like the ones that served before us.

As you can see from these comments, most conservatives have absolutely no problem with racial profiling and other forms of discrimination. Because they're white, and they've never been pulled over twice in one day and randomly frisked and/or harassed because of the color of their skin. If it's not a problem for me, it's not a problem. Here's my two cents, although it fell on mostly deaf ears:

Most of those commenters either didn't take the time to look at the recent study or didn't understand what they were reading. It wasn't just stopping people for having a tail light out, it was the subsequent "probable cause" searches of the vehicles and individuals that was at issue. The numbers show a *serious* 4th Amendment problem, and the best way to alleviate that is to limit these types of stops. The Constitution is for all of us. If it wasn't, it wouldn't be worth the paper it was written on.