Study Finds “Persistent” Racial Bias in Police Traffic Stops and Searches

A study published in the Nature Human Behaviour journal indicates that police decisions to stop and search motorists are affected by “persistent racial bias.” The dataset included approximately 95 million traffic stops conducted by 21 state patrol agencies and 35 municipal police departments between 2011 and 2018 that demonstrated comparatively fewer Black drivers were stopped after sunset. According to the authors, this finding indicates that Black drivers were more often stopped during in the daylight, suggesting a bias against Black and Hispanic drivers. The authors determined that the problem of racial disparities in traffic stops is solvable when considering how the legalization of recreational marijuana lowered the number of searches of white, Black and Hispanic drivers – the legalization of recreational marijuana is one of many policy interventions that could reduce such bias.


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Post By Ken Shafton (2,372 Posts)