How about a little race baiting from ratings laggard WCNC in Charlotte, to go with your morning coffee?
Leave it to WCNC's Savannah Levins to dig into the driving while black issue just to stir up the hate for local CMPD Officers.
For the first time ever, we’re seeing data that proves racial inequality when it comes to being pulled over in North Carolina.
Analysis of more than 20 million stops in the Tar Heel State since 2002 found blacks are 95 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites and 115 percent more likely to be searched after being stopped. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have searched four times more black drivers than white drivers since 2017.
In 1999, North Carolina became the first state ever to require departments nationwide to record specific details of every traffic stop, including race of the drivers. The data began coming in around the year 2000.
Now, 18 years later, researchers at the University of North Carolina have finally crunched the numbers. “It’s not really appropriate to question anymore whether driving while black put you in a different place, it clearly does,” said UNC Chapel Hill professor Dr. Frank Baumgartner, one of the researchers who compiled the data for a now-published book titled Suspect Citizens.
Baumgartner said he was shocked to find almost two decades of data collected from more than 20 million traffic stops in North Carolina was never analyzed, not one single report. So he took matters in his own hands.
What he found is something people of color have been saying for a long time now. “African American drivers are much more likely to be pulled over than white drivers,” he said. “About twice as likely actually.”
Dr. Barumgartner’s extensive research covers the entire state; numbers for individual departments are available to the public online. NBC Charlotte took a look at CMPD’s data, and found in the past year: Charlotte police pulled over 37.5 percent more black drivers than white drivers 5,146 black drivers were searched and only 1,322 white drivers were searched “No one is more concerned about disparity than I am; it’s a red flag,” CMPD Chief Kerr Putney recently said of the data.
The department referred NBC Charlotte to a video they recently posted to Facebook in which Chief Putney offers some explanation. “It’s fair to say that we have more staffing more resources in areas that have a statistically higher rate of violent crime, both victimization and suspects and those neighborhoods, unfortunately, are African American neighborhoods”
A CMPD officer asked. “It’s not just fair, it’s a fact.” Chief Putney responded, “It’s by design that we place our people there proactively.”
CMPD calls it a delicate balance, others call it flat out unfair.
“If I was a young Hispanic male living in what’s called a high drug area which might be home, might be where my school is, and if I was a mother a father of that young man and I had found out that for the 18th time in the last six months he'd been questioned, I’d be angry,” Baumgartner said.
As far as the reason people are pulled over, the biggest racial disparities in CMPD didn’t come from speeding, DUIs, checkpoints, or investigations. They came from seat belt and vehicle equipment violations: 50 times more black drivers pulled over for those minor infractions than whites.
Anyone who has rolled out of the Law Enforcement Center on a Friday night shift knows the sad fact that the majority of the crime in Charlotte is committed by African Americans. It is also a fact that if someone is breaking minor traffic laws, (expired tag, broken head light, speeding) there's a pretty good chance that they are also "riding dirty" since those who break the law do so because they think the rules don't apply to them and they don't stop with just speeding.
CMPD Officers tell me most traffic stops are made because the actions of the driver stand out, they are erratic, moving too fast, too slow, or just acting suspicious and that most of the time because of rear window tint, they don't know what color the driver's skin happens to be until they approach the car.
Numbers can tell a story, in this case the fact that claiming you were stopped by police because you were "driving while black" when you were speeding through a red light doesn't hold up.
High crime areas in Charlotte happen to be areas which have a higher population of people of color, its just a sad fact. Ask any CMPD Officer black, white or latino how many times they hear, "you just pulled me over because I'm black" or how many times they hear the classic "you slave'n me".
Officers don't care, they had a job to do and that is enforce the laws as they are there to protect all of us and when news reporters go out of their way to make Officers look bad they their jobs more difficult. A job that is tough enough without hearing "I saw on WCNC you cops are stopping me just because I'm black."