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Resource ID: #20861
Subject: Police
Source: Boston Globe
Affiliation: 
Date: January 6-7, 2003; July 20-22, 2003

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Description

The Boston Globe analyzed newly released state records on traffic stops and found that "on city boulevards and rural lanes, whites are far more likely than minorities to receive written warnings instead of tickets when stopped for identical traffic offenses." The report also looked at sex and gender, and found "women, especially young women, get breaks that aren't afforded to men." In order to then quantify the cost of such unequal treatment to the public, the Globe looked at factors such as lost ticket revenue and higher insurance premiums -- concluding "the price tag...amounts to an estimated $25 million a year." But the news wasn't all bad, as the analysis revealed the Massachusetts State Police did give almost identical treatment "to all drivers, regardless of race, sex, or age....No local police department of any size was as fair as the State Police." The earlier series (Jan 6-7) deals with how statewide, black and Hispanic drivers "received traffic tickets at a rate twice their share of the population." And when they were stopped, those drivers were "50 percent more likely to have their cars searched," even though whites were more likely to be found carrying drugs. The Globe uses tables and graphics extensively to convey the results of its analysis.

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