The Just Us Department
posted by The Sailor @ 6:34 PM Permalink
Minorities fare worse in traffic stops
Black, Hispanic and white drivers are equally likely to be pulled over by police, but blacks and Hispanics are much more likely to be searched and arrested, a federal study found.
Police were much more likely to threaten or use force against blacks and Hispanics than against whites in any encounter, whether at a traffic stop or elsewhere, according to the Justice Department.
-Blacks (9.5 percent) and Hispanics (8.8 percent) were much more likely to be searched than whites (3.6 percent). There were slight but statistically insignificant declines compared with the 2002 report in the percentages of blacks and Hispanics searched.
-Blacks (4.5 percent) were more than twice as likely as whites (2.1 percent) to be arrested. Hispanic drivers were arrested 3.1 percent of the time.
Among all police-public contacts, force was used 1.6 percent of the time. But blacks (4.4 percent) and Hispanics (2.3 percent) were more likely than whites (1.2 percent) to be subjected to force or the threat of force by police officers.
Two years ago, the Bush administration's handling of the 2002 report and its finding of racial disparities generated considerable controversy.
Departing from normal practice, the earlier report was simply posted on the statistics bureau's Web site without any press release announcing it.
The bureau's director at the time, Lawrence A. Greenfeld, appointed by President Bush in 2001, wanted to publicize the racial disparities, but his superiors disagreed, according to a statistics bureau employee. Greenfeld told his staff he was being moved to a new job following the dispute, according to this employee, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.
This time there was a press release.
And in related news:
FBI opening far fewer civil rights inquiries
Civil rights hiring shifted in Bush era
Conservative leanings stressed
The Bush administration is quietly remaking the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, filling the permanent ranks with lawyers who have strong conservative credentials but little experience in civil rights, according to job application materials obtained by the Globe.
The documents show that only 42 percent of the lawyers hired since 2003, after the administration changed the rules to give political appointees more influence in the hiring process, have civil rights experience. In the two years before the change, 77 percent of those who were hired had civil rights backgrounds.
Labels: Bush, civil rights