Friday, August 7, 2009

The Complexity of Racial Profiling

The 2008 Annual Report of Illinois Traffic Stops -- which resulted from a popular piece of legislation sponsored by then-Illinois state Senator Barack Obama -- paints an extremely complex picture of racial profiling.

In Illinois, black and Hispanic drivers are slightly more likely to be stopped and searched than white and Asian drivers -- although, as I've said, this does not seem to be the case nationally.

Either way, the important question for Illinois policymakers and law enforcement officials is whether any apparently disproportionate treatment is truly the result of racial profiling.

This is a very difficult question to answer, unfortunately.

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