Walking While Black

Racial profiling is alive and well in Texas. First there was Driving While Black. Now, a new report shows that in San Antonio, African American pedestrians were three times more likely to be stopped last year than whites or hispanics.

On a more positive note, Grits for Breakfast reports that the Texas Senate has followed the House and approved a bill establishing a central registry of data pertaining to racial profiling. Here's a statistic for you:

The data gathered under Texas' racial profiling law, though isn't just about race, but also about police practices like consent searches. This data contributed to the decision by the Austin Police Department to begin requiring written consent at traffic stops, then documented a 63% decline in drivers' consent to search after the policy was implemented.

That's an important statistic. Police routinely come into court and say they asked for the driver's consent, received it and lo and behold! There were 10 kilos in the trunk. Judges buy it, despite the fact that one would have to be an idiot to agree to a search knowing 10 kilos were in the trunk, and while a few of the drivers might qualify for that description, there's no way the vast majority of them do. Yes, police sometimes lie.

Every state should require police to obtain written consents to search - the same way they ask a suspect to sign that he's been advised of his Miranda rights. And the consent form should not have a waiver in the same section as the advisement, as in "I have been informed of my right to refuse a search and I hereby waive it."

< Justice Department Passes New P0rnography Rules | Emmett Till Trial Transcript Found >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Re: Walking While Black (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:10 PM EST
    Without an exhaustive, costly analysis, the raw data is open to interpretation," Police Chief Albert Ortiz said. Exactly. But let's throw it up on TL as an indictment of the SAPD anyway. In a report to the City Council, Ortiz wrote that more patrols in high-minority population areas means more minority stops. Of course. Is it also possible that there are more carless minorities in San Antonio than non-minorities? Or that more minorities live in the higher density neighborhoods in which there are more pedestrians than non-minorities? If it is true, as the link says, that contraband is found more often on minorities, should the police not learn from their experience? Why is there air?

    Re: Walking While Black (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:11 PM EST
    Sarcastic, I'm not quite following your logic/sarcasm? but I know that the issues this post discusses are absolutely why my black friends used to have me hold the drugs lol.

    Re: Walking While Black (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:11 PM EST
    You always give the weed to the white guy, and you let him drive too...you'll at least get to the party on time...

    Re: Walking While Black (none / 0) (#4)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Sat Dec 17, 2005 at 12:59:11 PM EST
    Never saw 'more pedestrians' in minority neighborhoods. But it's GREAT to pick on the poor. They can't fight back. Check out the throngs in the shopping districts, walking back and forth, white as you please. Check out Rush Limbaugh -- opiated to the gills, ordering others to buy his pills, doctor shopping, flaunting his rich white privelege. I'm sure that minorities will get equal careful handling. Like eggshells! As for 'more contraband'...you can find all the contraband you want in white districts, but you have to search for it, and if you do, daddy will get mad at you. As for 'indictment' at TL, suspicion of Texan law enforcement is not equivalent to suspicion of blacks and nonsuspicion of whites. Check out how great things turned out in Tula a year ago! Arrested every black person in the city, on the suspicions of a white cat who hates them and wanted to make some DEA money. Had to let them all go -- and now the city is paying out the nose. Let's do the investigation, and then Dallas and Houston can shell out for abetting racism in their police forces.