Sacramento Bee – Report: California traffic stops, arrests hit minorities harder

Original article can be found in the Sacramento Bee.

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Police Officer Jeromy Henson performs a traffic stop during his shift in Lincoln on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010.

Police Officer Jeromy Henson performs a traffic stop during his shift in Lincoln on Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010. Randall Benton.

Black and Latino Californians are disproportionately likely to have their driver’s licenses suspended and face arrest as a result of traffic stops, according to a new report.

In Los Angeles County, for instance, the report found that a third of the people arrested on driving with suspended licenses were black, despite African Americans making up less than a tenth of the population. In San Francisco, where the population is 5.8 percent black, African Americans made up nearly half of all arrests on driving with a suspended license.

The outcomes occur despite “no documented difference in driving behavior,” according to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, which led the report’s authors to conclude the disparities reflect a deeper problem.

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