Racial profiling and the police: utilizing the Census Transportation Planning Package to benchmark traffic stops made by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol

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Title: Racial profiling and the police: utilizing the Census Transportation Planning Package to benchmark traffic stops made by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol
Author: Herb, Michael R.
Abstract: Racial profiling, or the practice of using race, ethnicity, or other racially based characteristics to decide when to stop, cite, or search drivers, has been studied and analyzed by researchers for decades. Attempts have been made to gain an understanding of why officers commit acts of racial profiling and to identify different evaluation methods that allow for accurate analysis of racial profiling data. This study attempts to create a new method of evaluation by utilizing the Census Transportation Planning Package (CTPP) as a benchmark for racial profiling data. Variables from the CTPP are used to create estimates of the transient travel population, or driving population. Using traffic stop data from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCSHP), analyses are conducted to evaluate whether the CTPP can be utilized to accurately benchmark traffic stop data. An assessment is also conducted to determine whether there is any evidence of racial profiling by the NCSHP. The results of this research show not only that the CTPP can be utilized to efficiently and accurately benchmark traffic stop data, but also that the prior method of utilizing basic Census statistics severely underestimates racial profiling. Evidence is also produced to show that several counties in North Carolina were subject to racial profiling by the NCSHP.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/5511
Date: 2007-11

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