It was revealed in a new report released by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department that mostly black drivers are stopped by officers in the city’s traffic.
September 2019’s Stop Data Report showed the details of recent stop-and-frisk incidents in the District of Columbia and the percentage of various races affected by them.
According to the study, 70 percent of drivers stopped during the reporting period turned out to be black, while the figure was 15 percent for white people, and seven percent for Hispanic individuals. It is noted that the District’s black population is 46 percent, and 37 percent is non-Hispanic white.
As for stops resulting in tickets, black people led all the other groups with 61 percent, while 20 percent were white drivers and eight percent were Hispanic.
The rate of black drivers involved in instances of non-ticket stops reaches 86 percent. Seven percent of those stopped without tickets were white and five percent were Hispanic.
The results were consistent with previous data collected by the D.C. police regarding stops and arrests, which also indicated that persons of color were stopped at higher rates.
“While the new data collection is an important step forward in understanding stops, additional data and comprehensive analysis will be necessary to determine whether stops are biased,” the report added, asking readers “not to simply compare the demographics of persons stopped in D.C. with the demographics of the city’s population.”
It continues to explain: “Racial bias could be a factor in generating such disparities, but a basic introductory research methods course in the social sciences would argue that other explanations may be contributing factors. For example, differences by race in the exposure to the police and/or the rates of committing offenses may also contribute to racial disparities in police stop decisions. It is well documented, for example, that due to historical differences in racial segregation, housing tenure, poverty, and other sociopolitical factors, minorities in the US are more likely to live in neighborhoods with higher rates of crime and disorder….Crude approximations of the population at risk for police contact are poor substitutes and can hide evidence of racial bias or lead to exaggerated estimates of racial bias.”
The data in question was acquired from 11,600 stops that took place between July 22 and August 18 in 2019. A total of 20 people were arrested in relation to a crime, for every 100 stops.