“Driving while black” has become a code word in recent years for a crime of innocence and an alleged act of police prejudice.
For decades, widespread anecdotal evidence of racial profiling has filtered through police departments and legislatures. But what has been missing are the numbers. Police departments are now beginning a new “color scan,” training a close eye on the usual suspects, African-American and Latino males, for a new purpose. To beat racial profiling, lawmakers and lawsuits require numbers, hard evidence that racial profiling exists. Armed with studies, surveys, and training programs, police nationwide are already implementing corrective measures to put a screeching stop to the practice, a ragged remnant of the 1980s war on drugs.
But a primary part of the crusade against racial profiling is data collection, cold social science to document the heat of racial problems in America. To test our law enforcers subjective perceptions, in an effort to document real prejudice. Racial profiling, Real or Perceived?
(Hosted by Robert Siegel)
Jack McDevitt, Associate Dean of Northeastern University’s Criminal Justice Policy Research Center
Ron Davis, Oakland, CA, police captain and Vice President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
and Heather MacDonald, fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research.