This manuscript examines police officer decision making during automobile stops to determine whether Black and Hispanic drivers are searched at parity with nonminorities, with particular focus on officers’ legal authority to search and controlling for other explanatory factors. Using data collected by a large Midwestern police department, we observe Blacks are overrepresented among searches overall and among searches involving greater officer discretion to search. However, neither race nor ethnic effects were observed after introducing other explanatory variables into multivariate models, suggesting factors other than minority status provide greater understanding of officers’ decision making. Results indicate minorities are differentially involved in searches because police engage minorities under characteristics consistent with searches. This suggests that it is the social context of the stop, rather than the race or ethnicity of the driver, that primarily influences searches.
For more than four years, our EU COST funded network on Police Stops has been gathering information, hearing from experts…Read more
Workshop 'Registration of police stops and ethnicity and defining the police stop' 31 Aug - 2 Sept 2022
In line with our project’s ambition to share learning and explore the issue police stops across Europe, we are organising…Read more
European Journal of Policing Studies Special Issue: The Dynamics of Police Stops Guest editors: Mike Rowe Sofie de Kimpe Vincenzo…Read more