- White drivers were both ticketed and searched at lower rates than black and Hispanic drivers.
- Across race and Hispanic origin, persons who were searched during traffic stops were less likely than persons who were not searched to believe the police behaved properly during the stop.
- About 1% of drivers pulled over in traffic stops had physical force used against them by police.
- Of these drivers, 55% believed the police behaved properly during the stop.
- About 6 in 10 persons age 16 or older involved in street stops believed they were stopped for a legitimate reason. [Grits note: That means 40% thought the stop was illegitimate!]
- About 19% of persons involved in street stops were searched or frisked by police. The majority of persons who were searched or frisked did not believe the police had a legitimate reason for the search.
Here's a decent argument from the data for requiring law enforcement to obtain written consent for searches at traffic stops, reviving a bill vetoed by Gov. Perry in a past life (perhaps the Dancing With the Stars contestant will reconsider this position now that he's a born-again Criminal Justice Reformer). That simple change would significantly reduce probable-cause-free searches across the board. Searching drivers at traffic stops when no contraband is found heightens resentment against police: Only three percent of drivers stopped nationally in 2011 were searched, according to this data (in Texas, that number varies widely by department), but 89 percent of drivers who weren't searched thought the officer behaved properly, a number which dropped by nearly a third to 61 percent among searched drivers.