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'Wake-Up Call' Report Shows Black Drivers in Missouri 91 Percent More Likely to Be Pulled Over by Police

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/11/wake-call-report-shows-black-drivers-missouri-91-percent-more-likely-be-pulled-over

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Could be overt or covert reasons behind the statistics. Both bad. Systemic racism is alive and well in the “Show Me” state, just as it is everywhere else in this country. The remedy to both overt and covert racism is very OVERT, long-term, systemic, anti-racist and racial equity work.

The wake-up call should be for us to reign in this traditionally racist group.

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Racism will only be overcome by the passage of time(the death of all racists), and strong, punitive laws against any actions resembling racist acts.

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If it’s so high wouldn’t it be trivial to hire a black person to drive at the perfect speed limit, break no laws at all and video tape being pulled over anyway?

It seems like video evidence would a be a bit more illustrative than just the stats because the stats don’t differentiate between rates of violation.

If we lived in a country where this really mattered, FBI agents would set up stings and police who perform unconstitutional and illegal pull overs should be subject to severe penalties if not termination. That’s how a nation that really cared about racism in policing would act. Not gonna happen in Amerika. Anyone who has read about Missouri in the past ten - twenty years knows it is a racist state run by mostly backwards people. And that racism in Missouri is not new - been there for since the early 1800s.

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Greg,

All things being equal (and we know they’re not), if African Americans composed 91% of Missouri’s driving population then they might likely make up 91% of the traffic stops on a probability basis

African Americans actually only make up about 12% of the population in Missouri. So 12% of the population is bearing 91% of the traffic stops. That indicates that something really really unusual is going on.

If we assume that the traffic stops were/are for legitimate moving infractions, we’d have to draw the conclusion that African Americans drive bat-shit crazy to drive the statistics to the level reported. One could easily make the argument that they drive much more cautiously than whites to avoid run-ins with the police. That’s my experience.

If we assume that the traffic stops were/are for vehicle safety issues (tail light out, headlight out etc.) then we must draw the conclusion that the Missouri Vehicle Inspection process does not adequately do its intended job and needs to be reformed.

That leaves a clear, bright flashing red light shining on racial profiling as the likely cause for the statistics as reported.

I agree that video evidence is a powerful tool, but seriously, why should anyone need it if the system is fair and just?

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reader321- That would be a really good way to handle it, agreed.

White America forced the African Americans in the U.S. to live a separate reality. So naturally they have developed a separate culture. One that most whites and some blacks despise. Whites put blacks in ghettos and now blame them for not acting white enough.
There is more, but it gets kind of sticky from here. Who’s what, and what’s at fault. Do you lean on the black population in a city with a lot of black criminality?
Do you pretend it doesn’t exist?
We sure can’t blame whitey for the black culture whitey doesn’t like. What BS.

DUH, did the state learn nothing from the disaster of Ferguson? Unnecessary traffic stops that sometimes use overly strict traffic laws or enforcement protocols are responsible for a high percentage of racial tension in the USA. Any area can end this situation by ending unnecessary traffic stops that have little or no relationship to traffic safety.
James C. Walker, National Motorists Association

It is a poorly kept secret that there is an ongoing concerted effort by most, if not all, militant white supremacist groups to infiltrate law enforcement and the army.
This is true for all countries where such groups exist of course, but unlike most countries America does not have any effective tests or safeguards designed to weed them out.
More over, there does not appear to be any actions taken on part of either institution to actually remedy this situation, aside from a few meaningless pr quotes every now and then.

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You are interpreting the data wrong here. The article says that the probability that a black driver is pulled over is 91% higher than a white driver - not that blacks make up 91% of the people being pulled over.

If blacks make up 12% of the population, and ignoring other races, then this would imply that they comprise about 21% of traffic stops.

[0.12/(0.12 + (0.88/1.91)] = 0.21

At any rate the relative risk of 1.91 is pretty high and is supported by much more robust experimental studies done all around the country that demonstrate police bias in traffic stops.

As one example, researchers show videos of people driving to police subjects and ask if they would pull over the person in the video (making the videos identical except for the race of the driver) - the police subjects report higher rates of these virtual traffic stops for black drivers than white drivers.

Fill a jar with 100 marbles. Let those marbles represent Missouri drivers.

  • 12 black marbles
  • 88 not black marbles

Let’s write 100 traffic tickets by reaching into the jar and pulling out a marble. What’s the probability of pulling out at black marble? You got it.

Now replace that marble and repeat the exercise. Same probability result.

Ok. NOW, what do we need to do to make the probability 91% that we’d pull out a black marble?

I’m not sure what you are trying to get at here. Under a random chance model you would expect 12% of the time to get a black marble. But when you say

then you are not matching up with anything in the data from the story. The story talks about blacks being 91% more likely than white drivers to be pulled over. For example, if 10% of white drivers get pulled over in a given year, the data would imply that 19.1% of black drivers would get pulled over. The 1.91 number is called a “Relative Risk”. If you want to change the information in the article into a statement about the chance that a person pulled over is black, then you need to use what is called Bayes Theorem (the calculations being in my last post).

Sorry for getting so mathy in this - just thought people might want to get a better feel for the level of difference here.