Monday, February 28, 2005
A Texas study examined data from the records of over 1,000 Texas law enforcement agencies; the findings show that: 1) in 2003, two out of three of these agencies searched black and Hispanic motorists more often than white motorists; and 2) during searches of white motorists, law enforcement officials were just as likely to find illegal items than when searching black or Hispanic motorists. Executive director of the TX Police Chiefs Association believes that studies such as this are typically flawed for failing to account for time of day, location of the stop/search, and other such varying factors. The study also made the following recommendations:
- Adopting uniform reporting standards for racial profiling data;
- Requiring extra data to be collected by police agencies;
- Establishing an independent statewide repository for reports; and
- Banning consent searches (The study pointed out that three of five Texas police agencies were more likely to ask blacks and Hispanics than whites for a consent search).