by Sam Hieb
Big NYT story analyzing police traffic stops in Greensboro. The Times’ conclusion? You guessed it—“wide racial differences in measure after measure of police conduct.”
The Times analyzed tens of thousands of traffic stops made by hundreds of officers since 2010. Although blacks made up 39 percent of Greensboro’s driving-age population, they constituted 54 percent of the drivers pulled over.
While factors like out-of-town drivers can alter the racial composition of a city’s motorists, “if the difference is that big, it does give you pause,” Dr. McDevitt of Northeastern University said.
Most black Greensboro drivers were stopped for regulatory or equipment violations, infractions that officers have the discretion to ignore. And black motorists who were stopped were let go with no police action — not even a warning — more often than were whites. Criminal justice experts say that raises questions about why they were pulled over at all and can indicate racial profiling.
Appearances include GPD Chief Wayne Scott—“the way we accomplish our job is through contact, and one of the more common tools we have is stopping cars”—-Mayor Nancy Vaughan—-“are the next Ferguson?”—and—last but not least—the Rev. Nelson Johnson—-“this is about a culture, a deeply saturated culture that reflects itself in double standards.”