SSN Memo

Racial Profiling in North Carolina: Explanations and Solutions

Policy field

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St. Augustine's University

Below is an excerpt from a memo written by Patrick Webb.

While there has been increased national attention to issues of racial equity, some of the ripple effects have yet to be fully reckoned with. A traffic stop of a Black driver where the officer acts inappropriately or aggressively has significant repercussions for the wellbeing of the driver. But the consequences extend further – individuals sharing these experiences with their families, communities, and colleagues. The resulting damage, particularly to Black communities, underscore the consequences of when city government and law enforcement leaders fail to address difficult and necessary topics, how the actions of law enforcement personnel can influence decisions that extend beyond the immediate attention and awareness of officers, and how the professional treatment of minorities is critical to the potential collective wellbeing of individuals in a specific area. 

Policy-Minority Interactions and Decisions 

Unfortunately, poor race relations continue to plague progress within the US. This reality is highlighted when examining police-minority interactions and decisions. The disclosure of law enforcement activity data may reveal the extent to which certain levels of unfair treatment are provided. For example, traffic stop data as reported by the largest law enforcement agency in North Carolina reveal significant levels of racial disparities.