Contrary to popular belief, racial profiling still exists.

A new report from the city of Austin delves into motor vehicle stops and presents data confirming the disproportionate rate at which Blacks and Hispanics are pulled over by the Austin Police Department.

The report has been composed by the Office of Police Oversight, the Office of Innovation, and the Equity Office.

City of Austin
City of Austin

In 2018, Black/African American drivers made up 15% of motor vehicle stops and 25% of arrests by the APD, despite the fact that only 8% of Austin's voting age population is Black/African American. The data confirms that Blacks/African Americans are vastly over-represented compared to any other racial/ethnic group when it comes to motor vehicle stops.

Hispanics and Latinos were also over-represented, making up 33% of police motor vehicle stops, even though they only represent 31% of the Austin voting age population.

And no surprise here, but Whites and Asians get pulled over considerably less!

Don't get me started on the "what ifs," and "well....maybes."

According to the report, driving habits and commute differences do not support the overwhelming racial disparities.

Based on the data, the Office of Police Oversight, Equity Office, and the Office of Innovation recommend that the APD "acknowledge that racial disparity exists and is worsening." The three departments also suggest that the APD take steps to eliminate the racial disparities by 2023.

I sincerely hope we see a significant decrease in these racial disparities, especially in our own community. Of course this cannot happen without acknowledgement of the problem. Please do not turn a blind eye to injustice and racism.

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