Racial Profiling Reports 2015 Racial Profiling Report - Page 71

Analysis In 2001, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 1074 which became the Texas Racial Profiling Law. That is, the law came into effect on January 1, 2002 and required all police departments in Texas, to collect traffic-related data and report this information to their local governing authority by March 1 st of each year. In 2009, the racial profiling law was modified to include the collection and reporting of all motor vehicle related contacts where a citation was issued or arrest made. In addition, the modification to the law further requires that all police officers indicate whether or not they knew the race or ethnicity of the individual before detaining them. Further, it is required that agencies report motor vehicle related data to their local governing authority and to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) by March 1st of each year. The purpose in collecting and presenting this information is to determine if police officers in a particular municipality are engaging in the practice of racially profiling minority motorists. The Texas Racial Profiling Law also requires police departments to interpret motor vehicle-related data. Even though most researchers would probably agree with the fact that it is within the confines of good practice for police departments to be accountable to the citizenry while carrying a transparent image before the community, it is very difficult to determine if individual police officers are engaging in racial profiling, from a review and analysis of aggregate/institutional data. In other words, it is challenging for a reputable researcher to identify specific “individual” racist behavior from aggregate-level “institutional” data on traffic or motor vehicle-related contacts. As stated previously, in 2009, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 3389, which modified the existing Racial Profiling Law by adding new requirements; this took effect on January 1st, 2010. These most recent changes include, but are not exclusive of, the re-definition of a contact to include motor vehicles where a citation was issued or an arrest made. In addition, it requires police officers to indicate if they knew the race or ethnicity of the individual before detaining them. Also, the more recent law requires adding "middle eastern" to the racial and ethnic category and submitting the annual data report to TCOLE before March 1st of each year. I am pleased to inform you that these additional requirements have been addressed, since 2009, by the Arlington Police Department as it is demonstrated throughout this report. In an effort to comply with The Texas Racial Profiling Law, the Arlington Police Department commissioned the analysis of its 2015 motor vehicle contact data. Thus, two different types of data analyses were performed. The first of these involved a careful evaluation of the 2015 motor vehicle-related data. This particular analysis measured, as required by the law, the number and percentage of Caucasians, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, Middle Easterners and individuals belonging to the “other” category, that came in contact with the police in the course of a motor vehicle related contact, and were either issued a citation or arrested. Further, the analysis included information relevant to the number and percentage of searches (table 1) while indicating the type of search performed (i.e., consensual or probable cause). Also, the data analysis included the number and percentage of individuals who, after they came in contact with the police for a motor vehicle-related reason, were arrested.