David Harris Quoted in New York Times on Racially Biased Police Behavior
The New York Times analyzed data from traffic stops and arrests in North Carolina's third largest city, Greensboro; a city with a population of 280,000 people with a wide variety of racial backgrounds. The analysis showed that police officers pulled over African-Americans at a higher rate than the rest of the driving population. The police were more likely to stop black drivers for no reason, more likely to search the cars of black drivers, and more likely to use force. These findings are consistent with data from the rest of North Carolina and many other states.
Since the Ferguson riots, there have been numerous cases of African Americans being pulled over for minor traffic infractions that have actually resulted in death. These minor traffic stops frequently are escalated to more serious situations when the driver is African American. An expert in the field of police behavior and regulation, Professor David Harris says, "The traffic code is the best friend of the police officer," because in a large percentage of traffic stops the officer is looking to search for signs of crime instead of just give a traffic ticket. Minor traffic violations give the police reason to pull you over, and can claim reasonable suspicion to search the car.
Read more in The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black in The New York Times.