Researchers seek to help police avoid profiling

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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) _ Researchers are visiting with St. Louis County police this week in an effort to ensure they’re doing all they can to avoid racial profiling.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that researchers from the University of California Los Angeles are evaluating the department’s protocols on traffic stops, and making recommendations.

Former Police Chief Tim Fitch recommended the evaluation after anonymous letters last year accused a police lieutenant of ordering officers to target black people in south St. Louis County. The lieutenant, Patrick Hayes, was eventually fired. Hayes has appealed to the police board.

The researchers will also meet with residents, police union officials, business owners and community groups. The study is expected to require several visits to the department over several months.
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Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, http://www.stltoday.com

1 Comment

  • James Walker

    The FIRST thing to check is whether the traffic laws and speed limits are set for safety, or for revenue.

    The most obvious profiling-enabler is under-posted speed limits. If 85% of the vehicles when traffic is free flowing under good conditions are below or right at 45 mph, then the safest limit to post is 45. BUT, many venues post 40 or 35 or 30 in such places to define roughly 50%, 70% or 90+% respectively of the drivers as violators.

    Anyone willing to read a serious legal article on this issue can Google for an article titled “Ruling Out the Rule of Law” published by Vanderbilt University and authored by Kim Forde-Mazrui who is a law professor at the University of Virginia.

    James C. Walker, Life member – National Motorists Association

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