Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 26, 2013

City report shows no racial profiling

Comparison does highlight changing demographics

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — With no complaints about racial profiling by Corsicana Police last year, the police contact report for 2012 was more of a formality than anything, but a legal requirement nonetheless.

Police Chief Randy Bratton delivered the report to the Corsicana City Council on Tuesday evening.

The report is required by the state, a response to complaints in larger cities about racial profiling, that police were stopping people of color, and ticketing them and searching their cars more often than those of whites, even though whites were the larger percentage of the population.

In Corsicana, the population numbers and traffic stops align with the 2010 census figures fairly closely, according to Bratton.

Basically, 46.6 percent of the city’s population is white, and 47.5 percent of the stops were of whites; blacks are 21 percent of the population in the city, and they made up 24 percent of traffic stops; Hispanics are 31 percent of the population, and they were 26.8 percent of traffic stops; with the rest — Asians, American Indians, and Middle Easterners — who combined made up of less than 2 percent of stops.

“This is very similar to last year,” Bratton told the council. “We’ve had no complaints of a racial profiling nature.”

The police department only made 263 arrests as a result of traffic stops last year, but those broke down, racially, like this: whites, 32 percent; blacks, 46 percent; Hispanics, 21 percent.

When compared with the same contact report for 2002, the report also highlights the change in the city’s population and the police encounters.

In 2002, the city had 4,177 traffic stops/tickets; In 2012, the city police made 3,728 stops/tickets. Showing a statistically small difference, despite a decade’s passage.

However, in 2002, 21 percent of the tickets were issued to Hispanics, while in 2012, it was 31 percent. Whites received 55 percent of tickets in 2002, and they got just under 47 percent in 2012. The percentage of African Americans receiving tickets was almost identical despite 10 years’ difference, at 23.7 percent in 2002, and 24 percent in 2012.

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Janet Jacobs may be reached via e-mail at jjacobs@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “sound off” to this article? E-mail: Soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com