During a recent two-week trial run of new state requirements, San Diego Police and San Diego County Sheriff’s deputies stopped Hispanic and black drivers at a higher rate than their share of the local population, newly released data from the California attorney general’s office shows. The difference was most dramatic for black people in the city of San Diego, who make up 6 percent of the population, but were stopped 18 percent of the time by participating city police.
Both San Diego law enforcement agencies participated in a pilot program ahead of new requirements soon to be rolled out as part of a 2015 law authored by San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber that aims to collect data in order to identify and deter police racial profiling. In a Feb. 24 VOSD op-ed, Weber wrote the new law is “aimed at ensuring that all Californians are treated fairly by law enforcement.”
Racial stop data can be a tool to track possible police bias, though its value is debated by researchers. The new numbers offer a small window into the pedestrian and vehicle stops made by 30 officers at each of the 10 participating law enforcement agencies over a two-week period in May.
Participants reported the perceived race of those stopped, choosing from seven options that included Asian, black, Hispanic/Latino, Middle Eastern or South Asian, Native American, Pacific Islander and white. In some instances, officers chose more than one race for a single individual, the data shows.
Each participating officer could submit data for up to 14 stops, said a spokeswoman for the California Department of Justice. Spokesmen for both San Diego law enforcement agencies discouraged comparing the numbers to local demographics, saying the sample is too small and the pilot was only meant to iron out the data-submission process.
“Nothing really surprising in this snapshot,” said Joe Kocurek, Weber’s communications director. “These preliminary numbers reflect the experience of people in communities of color. But numbers like this will be more meaningful when we have a larger sample size and other data, including information about the outcome of these stops.”
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Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister:
"There are lie, damn lies...and statistics!"
Some groups continue to tie the hands of the police at all levels. This is just an attack from a different flank. Don't hassle the illegals. Before you shoot, do a psychological test. Double check to make sure the gun is not a toy. Don't shoot if there is only a knife coming at you. Hell, between the Black Thugs Matter group and the groups wanting all of Mexico made citizens, our laws are being watered down. On top of that, there are our politicians looking for future voters. Sanctuary cities and states look better if minority crimes look less than what they actually are. So, run a study. Give the results you choose to share. Make the minority of choice look like it is all due to racism and spank the police. Anarchy will follow. Extreme?? Every little chunk out of our legal system takes us there. I don't believe anything from politicians with a voter registration goal. They would sell my soul for 1 vote.
For me, the data is inconclusive. It doesn't say whether individuals were pulled over in La Jolla or City Heights. There's a difference. I'd like to think Mr. Wahl's words were true but that Governski video.
Not sure if I missed it in the article, but does the % of population include illegal aliens? Certainly they are driving so they would be included in the number pulled over - if not included in the population then there is an inherent flaw in the study.
Also, should the % be compared to the % of crimes committed rather than population?
@rhylton I respect and appreciate your interest and energy on this topic. I agree it's worth drilling deeper and getting a greater understanding. The question of "is the pattern due to racial profiling or due to other variables correlated with race/ethnicity" cannot be answered without having those other variables also collected. If the variables I think are of interest are not reported (reason for stop, geographic location of stop, age of person stopped, economic attributes of person stopped such as income, employment status), probation/parole status, time of day, and only race is reported, then the pattern of stops by race may be intriguing but cannot be analyzed in ways I would find meaningful.
For instance, if a simplistic theory is poor people get stopped more than non-poor people (however one chooses to measure this) then I would need that variable to make such a study. If I know that black and hispanic people are more likely to be poor and are more often stopped, then that would be consistent with such a theory. But, it could be solely due to racial profiling or solely due to poor/non-poor or due to some other variables that are also correlated with race such as probation/parole status. (Don't get me started on unfair enforcement of drug laws leading to such probation/parole status.) If such variables are being collected and can be obtained for this dataset, please provide the URL where I can download a more complete dataset and I would dust off ancient SAS/SPSS skills and take a deeper look. But, without the ability to try to examine other variables, the pattern of stops by race/ethnic is just not, in itself, useful enough for me to form any conclusion about profiling being the root cause of the difference in the stop rates.
There are many correlated variables in play. First question is why do people get pulled over? Presumably actual driving is one factor, condition of vehicle (taillight, headlight out, expired registration) is another. What other factors are there?
Then, what is the distribution by race/ethnicitiy of drivers, vehicles having such characteristics? For instance, I would be expired registration is more common in low income neighborhoods. To really look at profiling you'd want to consider the population sizes associated with each reason to pull someone over and then look at the percentages of people actually pulled over FOR THAT REASON.
Now, I happen to believe there is profiling. But, as a trained sociologist, I would not say any of the coarse data currently shown could be used make any conclusions. I do know that I drive just as fast now as I did when I was 20 but I get pulled over a hell of a lot less because I've learned to be less conspicuous in my choice of car and my speeding ;) So, I would also suggest adding age as a variable. I believe the poor and minorities tend to have a higher percentage of younger people.
@Steve Miller My reply concerns the SDPD. I wish that you had taken the time to fetch and analyze the data, as I have. The Data is on San Diego's website and the issue that this article addresses is standard operating procedure, as far as the SDPD is concerned. The visualizations that I have included, are of data for 2014-2015, the same period used by SDSU's analysts. I invite you to read that piece of work, paying particular attention to how Asians are represented. I have done the similar examinations for 2016 and the first half of 2017.
Just a question I never see answered. Maybe because there are more blacks and Mexican pulled over is because there are a lot more cops patroling in that area. A lot of time the amount of cops is generated by the amount of crime and the neighbors complaining a certain area and crime in their area. Thus more cops than in a low crime area.
@mike johnson Police staffing levels do vary division to division across town, but pilot participants were not concentrated in one area or another.
Part of the problem could be the illegals without having been tested driving around. Of course, because of the traitors running this town, nothing much happens to them when caught. Besides, who really are the minorities these days? With the invasion from the south, perhaps minority status has changed in SD. Certainly seems that way when I go grocery shopping.
Racist: Expecting officers to determine ethnicity based on physical appearance and other superficial clues
Try this: Drive around San Diego looking for cars that should be pulled over for violating driving laws.
Can you tell the ethnicity or even skin color of the driver when you are behind the car???
Identify the ethnicity of each of the drivers in the photo below.
Respectfully, I'm not a peace officer. I did drive big trucks around this fine country, 30,000 miles a month at 55 mph.
@TJ Apple Assuming that there is some validity to your uninformed statement, pray tell how pulling someone over for a real or pretextual traffic offence has anything to do with crime. Think before you write, or, failing that, become more familiar with the subject and the law.
You would make sense if your comment were "More interested in who is driving badly."
As someone whose done years of research on this subject (watch the TV show Cops) pulling someone over for a minor infraction often leads to the discovery of serious criminal activity. Please remember to put on your oxygen mask before helping others with their's, I know the air is thin up on that horse you ride...
@TJ Apple Philip, I missed you. And, you remain constant for your comments continue to make no sense. It is well established that while pulling someone over may lead to (the discovery of) serious criminal activity; the murder of those pulled-over being the most dire. It is also true that the numbers for San Diego, and everywhere else, show that the discovery is not often. Those same numbers also show the inversion of results for the targeted, groups. To put it another way, targeting by race, as practiced, it is a waste of police resources. Look at "HitRates" for proof, and allow yourself to be persuaded by facts.
It is San Diego's data that says so. Regret that I bought you tidings that created no joy. I am going riding now.
@rhylton You seem to be the only one struggling to understand what was written.
So clear to me. Whites are far more superior drivers. Others just like to throw out the race card instead of facing reality. Free crying towels to be distributed Christmas Eve.