These Cities Are Limiting Traffic Stops for Minor Offenses
Philadelphia, San Francisco and the state of Virginia have taken steps to deter police from pulling over drivers for violations that don’t threaten public safety.
By Sarah Holder
February 2, 2023 at 9:19 AM
The death of Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop in Memphis has reignited calls to limit how often police pull over cars for minor offenses and to eliminate so-called pretext stops that disproportionately affect people of color. …
Getting pulled over is the most common way the public comes into contact with police. It’s also a common catalyst for police violence. At least 86 US traffic stops turned deadly last year alone, according to Mapping Police Violence. Several localities began looking at ways to limit such interactions during the 2020 protest movement over police brutality, citing evidence that police disproportionately pull over Black drivers for minor offenses and that not all traffic enforcement is a necessary part of public safety.
… Data showed that in Philadelphia, not only were minor traffic stops invasive and humiliating, as Thomas has described them, they were largely ineffective at keeping illegal items off the streets: Of the more than 300,000 traffic stops made in Philly between October 2018 and September 2019, only about 1% of them turned up drugs or a gun, according to the local public defender’s office.
In other words, fear of traffic stops and occasional searches were helping keep guns off the street before the Racial Reckoning.
In general, I’m fascinated by how liberals turn into the NRA whenever the question changes from Point of Sale gun control to Point of Use gun control.
For example, there’s a long NYT investigative article on the abuses of the mostly black Memphis PD’s Scorpions squad that largely consists of young aspiring rappers claiming, not implausibly, that they were roughed up by the Scorpions after the cops found them carrying a gun. But they all have excuses like it was their cousin’s gun and he got it legally and besides I need it for defense because I got enemies, which the squad of NYT reporters writing the story treats as perfectly valid reasons.
Black drivers made up 72% of those stopped, but were 34% less likely than White drivers to be found holding anything illegal.
After a long, collaborative process to draft and redraft the policy, the legislation, called Driving Equality, started being enforced in March 2022. Almost a year into the change, preliminary data from the program shows that overall traffic stops are down significantly, says Thomas, and that there’s an increase in the likelihood of finding weapons during those stops.
It sounds quite possible that more Philadelphians are, in response, carrying illegal handguns.
But it also shows that Black people are still disproportionately being pulled over.
Which might have something to do with how badly blacks have been driving on average since May 25, 2020, but nobody knows that happened. It’s more or less unthinkable to the current media mindset that blacks could possibly have started behaving worse lately in response to recent events that the media cheered on. No, anything blacks do that’s unfortunate must be the result of redlining and slavery, etc. in the distant past. Which is why the newspapers have cut way back on reporting the news when it comes to blacks in favor of regurgitating the olds.
Eventually, somebody in the MSM will publish an article about how the effects of racism are so pervasive that blacks suddenly became worse drivers in 2020s, which is obviously due to the Eisenhower Administration building Racist Roads. Pete Buttigieg will be interviewed on how this worsening of black traffic fatality rates proves we must spend billions to eradicate Eisenhower’s Racist Roads.