[LMB] OT: Racial disparities in policing

anmar Caver anmar.mirza at gmail.com
Tue Dec 10 18:17:04 GMT 2019

I know that this discussion is edging close to US politics so I shall
refrain from engaging further.

On Tue, Dec 10, 2019 at 11:34 AM Luke Bretscher <rocketman0739 at gmail.com>

> That idea could in theory cover the facts, but it has been shown not
> to. A large study found that black drivers were significantly more
> likely than white drivers to be pulled over in the daytime, but that
> discrepancy dropped after dark--when police couldn't see the drivers'
> race.

No statistics here, but as a single datapoint, I drove my ambulance through
a very white section of a large metropolitan area regularly and never had
an issue (I look white). One of my partners who was black was driving
through that same area while I was in the back with the patient was stopped
on two different occasions (both daylight). In an ambulance. Without doing
any traffic no-nos.

> It would be too simplistic to attribute the overall racism shown by
> the policing system in general to racial animus on the part of each
> individual officer who enforces it.

This is true. And policing is inherently racist because the society is
inherently racist. While there is a culture in law enforcement that sets
them apart from civilians (I work extensively with LE as part of my SAR
duties), as a whole they are are not significantly different regarding
racism than the population as a whole.

On Tue, Dec 10, 2019 at 8:47 AM WILLIAM A WENRICH <wawenri at msn.com> wrote:
> >
> > In my concealed carry class we were taught to remain seated with our
> hands on the
> > wheel and not go fumbling around for our license or registration. If you
> have a weapon,
> > and you need to reach close to it, inform the officer first (some states
> require you to
> > inform the police immediately on being stopped).
> I'm sure that works for you. But Philando Castile followed all the
> rules and was still shot dead. This was almost certainly because the
> police officer subconsciously classified Castile as a Bad Guy on
> account of being black.

This too may be true in the individual case, but there are hundreds of
thousands of interactions with the police on a daily basis and most of them
end without incident. Any time you come in contact with the power of the
state, it has the potential to end badly.

I live near a very small community. My very white associate (I used to call
him a friend until he was picked up for DUI while on probation for DUI,
that is one of my hard limits on friends) who drives a very distinctive old
truck complained that he got stopped all of the time. I have not been
stopped in years, but I drive common, nondescript cars and trucks without
equipment violations and while I freely admit to exceeding the speed limit
regularly, I rarely do more than the average speed of traffic and usually a
little less. I told him when he complained about being stopped regularly
that he was a known ex-con driving a truck that did not look like any other
truck in the area. He wants to fly under the radar so to speak, he should
be driving around in a light colored 5-10 year old Camry (or similar)
without distinctive damage. Is it right he gets hassled a lot? No, but as a
probationer they don't even need probable cause to pull him over. In the
last case, he was DUI and possessing illegals, so their fishing expedition

Racism can work in funny ways too. Growing up on a college campus with
large minority populations, I noticed that Asians rarely got pulled over,
even for egregious violations. Then I had a Japanese friend who joined the
caving club and he told me that whenever any of his friends got pulled over
they just started speaking very poor English and they usually got a warning
if anything at all. A cadet (IU is one of the state LEO training academies)
told me it was well known among the local police that pulling over Asians
was a major PITA so they generally left them alone for minor infractions.

Anmar Mirza EMT, N9ISY, NCRC National Coordinator, RBNC President

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