REPORT: Ferguson Police LESS LIKELY to Pull Over Black Drivers Compared to National Average
On March 4, 2015 Attorney General disclosed his findings from the Department of Justice investigation of the Ferguson police force.
The Department of Justice concluded that Officer Darren Wilson did not violate Michael Brown’s civil rights and acted in self defense when he shot Brown dead. The report also found that Michael Brown did not have his hands up and was not surrendering when he was shot by Officer Wilson.
AG Holder did not apologize to Darren Wilson or the City of Ferguson.
Rather focusing on Wilson’s innocence, which was the reason for the investigation, Holder spent the majority of his time berating the Ferguson police department with stories of harassment and abuse compiled in his report.
But now we know the truth.
The Ferguson police were actually less likely to pull over black drivers compared to the national average.
John R. Lott at The New York Post reported:
The Justice report doesn’t prove disparate treatment, let alone discrimination.
“Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that African-Americans account for 85 percent of vehicle stops, 90 percent of citations, and 93 percent of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67 percent of Ferguson’s population.”
Those statistics don’t prove racism, because blacks don’t commit traffic offenses at the same rate as other population groups.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2011 Police-Public Contact Survey indicates that, nationwide, blacks were 31 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over for a traffic stop.
Ferguson is a black-majority town. If its blacks were pulled over at the same rate as blacks nationally, they’d account for 87.5 percent of traffic stops.
In other words, the numbers actually suggest that Ferguson police may be slightly less likely to pull over black drivers than are their national counterparts. They certainly don’t show that Ferguson is a hotbed of racism.
Critics may assert that that “31 percent more likely” figure simply shows that racism is endemic to police forces nationwide.
Hmm: The survey also reveals that men are 42 percent more likely than women to be pulled over for traffic stops. Should we conclude that police are biased against men, or that men drive more recklessly?
In fact, blacks die in car accidents at a rate about twice their share of car owners.
A 2006 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study found that black drivers who were killed in accidents have the highest rate of past convictions for speeding and for other moving violations. This suggests that there are a lot of unsafe black drivers, not racism.
The Justice report on Ferguson continues, “African-Americans are at least 50 percent more likely to have their cases lead to an arrest warrant, and accounted for 92 percent of cases in which an arrest warrant was issued by the Ferguson Municipal Court in 2013.”
Again, this pretends that a mere difference is evidence of discrimination.
But the report’s statistic doesn’t even look at whether people pay their fine or appear in court — something that makes a big difference in whether to issue a warrant.
Could it be that blacks are more likely to face particularly serious charges?
Another figure that was not included in Holder’s report was that the white population in Ferguson and North County tends to be older than the rest of the community. This would also account for the lower rate of arrest among white citizens.
It’s too bad the Justice Department was not honest enough or aware enough to understand how Ferguson stacked up against the rest of the country.