After reading the article reporting that blacks and Hispanics are disproportionately likely to have their licenses suspended and face arrest as the result of traffic stops because of racial bias, I strongly disagree.
Although not on patrol for all of the 30 years of my career in law enforcement, I made thousands of stops for traffic violations. Never did I allow the ethnicity of the driver determine the outcome of the traffic stop. In fact, more often than not, I was not aware of the color of the driver until I approached the vehicle.
Although I believe that a few officers (very few in my experience) allow race to affect their decision, the outcome of the vast majority of traffic stops is determined by the driver. The truth is that if the drivers have valid driver’s licenses and do not have arrest warrants, they will receive a citation and go on their way.
However, this is where the difference comes into play. During my career, there was a much higher percentage of blacks and Hispanics who were unlicensed or had warrants for their arrest. The bottom line, obey the law and there won’t be a problem!
Richard Owen, Visalia