According to a new study, driving while black is a real hazard.  Justice Department statistics, based on the Police-Public Contact Survey, show that “relatively more black drivers (12.8%) than white (9.8%) and Hispanic (10.4%) drivers were pulled over in a traffic stop during their most recent contact with police.” In laymen’s terms,  a black driver is about 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than a white driver, or about 23 percent more likely than a Hispanic driver.

Well anyone could have figured that out?

As someone who’s been pulled over in a grocery store parking lot, I’d be hard pressed to notice white people pulled over when I’m driving. My friends and I even have a game when we see a cop car with their flashing lights on the side of the road; we try to guess the race of the person being stopped. And every time we guess a black person, we’re never wrong.

From The Washington Post:

Perhaps not surprisingly, there were racial differences in the perceived fairness of traffic stops. The survey showed that 67.5 percent of black motorists stopped by police said the reason for the stop was legitimate, compared with 73.6 percent of Hispanics and 83.6 percent of whites. In general, people of all races were more likely to say the stop was legitimate when the officer who pulled them over was of the same race.

Overall, these numbers shed some light on how black and white communities can have starkly different views of the law enforcement agencies that serve them. Black drivers are 31 percent more likely to be pulled over than whites; they are more than twice as likely to be subject to police searches as white drivers; and they are nearly twice as likely to not be given any reason for the traffic stop, period. These numbers undergird much of the racial differences in responses to events like last month’s shooting and protests in Ferguson, Mo.

Clutchettes, how many times have you been pulled over?

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  • Anthony

    Since this was a national average, it tends to hide the places like Ferguson, MO where it has clearly been policy to milk Blacks for the benefit of the town’s budget. In those sorts of places, the racial disparity is incredibly skewed.

  • I’ve only been pulled over once while driving, but I consider that stop legitimate because I didn’t have my glasses with me and I was driving more slowly than usual to compensate for not seeing that well. The guy who pulled me over was white and pretty polite. The whole experience took maybe 5-7 minutes. I was gripping my steering wheel pretty tight and praying under my breath because it was very late (around 2am–I was sick and went to a 24 hour Walgreens for Nyquil) and I didn’t want him to think I was out there casing my own neighborhood or something. He said I should’ve taken a cab but since I was so close to home (like a block), he let me go. He did follow behind me though and flashed his lights when I got in my driveway and left.

    My black male friends, however, have had bad experiences. One friend was visiting his girlfriend in a tony part of town and was stopped by police right in her driveway. The cop who stopped him said he was stopping him because there had been a report of a break in and he and his car fit the description. What he didn’t know was that my friend was a state trooper, lol. So imagine this cop’s surprise when my friend showed him his badge and ID. That cop couldn’t get out of there fast enough. My friend put in a complaint against the cop because he was able to find out there had been absolutely no report of a break-in in that area. Actually, he was told there hadn’t been a break-in in several weeks. It actually made the local news here.