Study finds racial disparity in traffic stops - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Study finds racial disparity in traffic stops

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April 30, 2007

Albany--  A federal study shows police often treat minorities differently than white drivers during traffic stops.  

A study by the Federal Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that minority and white drivers are pulled over equally. But here's the difference.  Blacks and Hispanics are more likely to be searched and arrested.

Nearly 10-percent of Blacks and 9-percent of Hispanics were searched versus 3.6-percent of whites. Blacks were more than twice as likely to be arrested as whites. Arrest rates for Hispanics were also higher than whites.

Albany State Criminal Justice Department Chairman Dr. Charles Ochie says the findings aren't surprising.

"Generally speaking, minorities often times receive different treatment from police and a lot of times it's because of the attitudes of both sides because when the minority person is stopped by the police, the minority person expects a certain attitude from the police and the police expects a certain kind of attitude from the person who's stopped," said Ochie.

The study also found that minorities were more likely to be subjected to force or threat of force by police. The study was compiled from 2005 traffic stop data and nearly 64-thousand interviews done by the Census Bureau.

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