Councilman Says FWPD Racial Profiling Report Shows Bias

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A Fort Worth City Council member is raising questions about the results of the police department’s racial profiling report.

Despite assurances that officers aren’t targeting minorities in traffic stops and searchers, Councilman Frank Moss says the raw numbers appear otherwise. “Without an explanation it looks as if there is racial profiling,” he said.

The report is a collection of information from all Fort Worth police traffic stops with an arrest or where a ticket was issued in 2010.

While police made the most motor vehicle-related contacts with Caucasian drivers, officers searched the vehicles of African American drivers the most.

Reports show that Blacks are also arrested nearly twice as often as Whites or Hispanics. “There needs to be some kind of explanation of why such a disproportionate number of African-Americans were arrested as relates to stops under the racial profiling report,” said Moss.

<<< Click here to read the entire Fort Worth Police Department Racial  Profiling Report >>>

Fort Worth Police Chief Jeff Halstead stands by the report but adds the department is getting new computer software that will give even more detailed numbers. “Once we get that product inline and installed we can address that [possible profiling] at every level of supervision to ensure that’s not occurring,” Halstead said.

The new computer system, which will come on line this summer, will not only draw data on who officers are making contact with, but will also offer insight about when, where and how that contact was made. “We can see every individual employee,” Chief Halstead said of the new system. “What kind of force is used against what kind of person, how many stops were made, different races [pulled over] and what part of town.”

According to University of Texas at Arlington criminology expert Alex del Carmen, the true test, as to whether racial profiling is occurring, is how often contraband is actually found when police do searches of cars. “If no contraband was found then clearly you may have an issue relevant to racism,” he said. “If contraband is found in those searches then it rally constitutes good police work.”

But del Carmen went on to stress that, “It is very difficult to measure whether racism takes place inside a police department simply by looking at the numbers.”

State requires that all police departments collect traffic-related data and report the information to their local governing authority by March 1 of each year.

Comments

One Comment

  1. David says:

    What is the demographic breakdown of Fort Worth? What are the percentages of suspects found in police reports taken? Do they capture the number of reported male vs female suspects in police reports taken? Do they capture the number of white, black, hispanic, asian, or others reported as suspects in police reports taken?

    Reported suspects in crime might help people understand the “disproportionate” number.

  2. Dave says:

    They (blacks) need to stop hanging at Walmart throughout the day and go to work. The majority of the arrests are of Blacks could mean the majority of the Blacks are doing the crimes. My neighborhood is becoming overwhelmed with Blacks and it’s starting to to look like the gettho.

    Admit it or not, we all profile, it’s human nature to do so. If a poodle runs and barks at you, it’s differenct if a Pitbull would do so.

    It’s ashame that we have to focus our efforts on such an issue. Just behave and you won’t be arrested. Otherwise if you do the crime then do the time, and don’t blame others for you misbehavior.

  3. waf_98 says:

    Councilman Moss is clearly asking the wrong question. As Mr. del Carmen points out, the true test of racial profiling is how often contraband is found during a stop.

  4. Enrique says:

    Well, dont be mad because there arent as many white or hispanic people doing illegal things. If the numbers are showing that black people.. are committing more crimes and doing the time, then so be it. It is what it is.

    Out of the three robberies that have touched my life, all 9 suspects were black. Something has to give.

  5. Dave says:

    Did you notice that in the pic, it’s showing the cop with a machine gun like weapon. What’s up with that? CBS DFW perhaps is creating a negative image of the Fort Worth PD.

  6. RussP says:

    If the searches and arrests prove to be valid and turn up illegal items or activity, then it’s not profiling, it’s law enforcement. If on the other hand, the searches are just to “bust stones” of a certain group and no charges are filed after the arrests, then it’s illegal and the officers need to be disciplined. I know on the nightly local news reports, certain races and ethnic groups seem to appear on the survaillance cameras as suspects at crime seems more than other people; are the cameras also profiling or are these groups more involved in crime?

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