Researcher: Gender Plays Role in Racial Profiling
Black drivers overall are twice as likely as white drivers to be arrested
The Associated Press
July 16, 2012TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A Kansas State University researcher's analysis has found that racial profiling is intertwined with gender.
It already was known that white women are less likely to be ticketed, searched or arrested than men. But The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that sociology doctoral candidate Jeremy Briggs found black and Hispanic women are ticketed, arrested or searched during traffic stops more often than white women and at a level comparable to white men.
Briggs said black drivers overall were more than twice as likely as white drivers to be arrested. The rate was even higher among black men, with them 2 1/2 times as likely as white men to be arrested.
``What I found in the case of traffic stops was that racial differences are deeply gendered as well,'' he said. This connection should be a part of the larger racial profiling discussion.''
Briggs said he became interested in racial profiling as a dissertation topic in 2008 while teaching a Police in Society class at Kansas State.
He based his findings on an analysis of the 2005 Police Public Contact Survey, which is collected every three years, serves as a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey and is sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Now Briggs is in the process of updating his findings based on the 2008 survey, which was released a few months ago.
For his research, Briggs studied reasons for the traffic stops, such as speeding, stop sign violations and drunken driving check lanes. He also looked at the outcomes of the traffic stop, such as a ticket, warning, search or arrest.
``The real issue I'm trying to get across is that race is only one part of the (racial profiling) story,'' he said. ``When you consider gender as well as race, you get a different picture. It's not as clear as when you keep race and sex separate.