The dangers of driving while black in North Carolina

NC's racial profiling problem once again makes national news:

The same gap prevailed when officers cited probable cause to search without permission. Officers searched blacks at more than twice the rate of whites, but found contraband only 52 percent of the time, compared with 62 percent of the time when the driver was white.

If those statistics are true, Chief Scott said, “we need to figure out how we can better serve our community in a fairer way.”

The only way to do that is to drastically reduce the number of "probable cause" traffic stops that take place. It's a subjective analysis to begin with, and you simply can't "train" people to ignore prejudicial thoughts that mostly stem from the entertainment industry's reliance on stereotypical portrayals. Etymological note: The word suspicion emerged shortly after the end of the Dark Ages, and was most often associated with religious tribunals who suspected that many people were under the influence of Satan. And the overwhelming majority of the population in Europe and later the New World were wholly supportive of the Inquisitors' judgments. Until it was their turn on the rack. Back to the article, and some hopeful developments:

Fayetteville officials believe that they have an answer. Faced with similar data, the City Council required officers in 2012 to obtain written permission for consent searches — a requirement endorsed this year by a White House task force on policing. Since then, the number of consent searches has plummeted to about one a week. Probable-cause searches dropped by more than half.

In Fayetteville, Chief Medlock said he had instructed his officers to avoid resisting-an-officer charges unless some more serious offense also occurred. “I tell my folks, if that’s all you have, don’t charge somebody. Find a way to move them on down the road,” he said.

And the next step would be for judges to throw out *any* arrest for resisting, if there are no other charges filed. But I'm not holding my breath.



Ending the failed war on

Ending the failed war on drugs would go along way toward eliminating this problem.