DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – New research shows African American men are more likely to get pulled over by police in Durham.
Researchers at RTI International conducted the study at the request of the police department, who was trying to determine if bias is a factor in traffic stops.
In particular, the researchers found the issue was most pronounced when related to the department’s high enforcement abatement team, which focuses on issues such as drugs and gang violence.
Researchers looked at traffic stops in the evening and then compared the results when it was light outside and when it was dark.
They found African American men were about 20 percent more likely to get pulled over during daylight hours, when an officer can see the race of the driver.
“To those communities that have been most vocal with these concerns, I want to say we heard you,” Durham Police Chief Larry Smith told CBS North Carolina, adding, “You may have thought we did not, but we did. And, the request for this report is evidence of that.”
The researchers did not find evidence of racial bias among female drivers.
They looked at several years of data dating back to 2010.
For the first four years, African American males were disproportionately being pulled over but by 2014 that was no longer the case perhaps due to new training or policies.