Tuesday, July 24, 2018

First glimpse at improved racial profiling data

Racial profiling reports submitted by local law enforcement agencies got an upgrade in the most recent legislative session as part of the Sandra Bland Act, and the changes are pretty significant. The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement issued guidance for complying with the new requirements, and here's the model reporting format they suggested.

For comparison, here's the Austin PD report from earlier this spring covering FY 2017.

The new reporting requirements take effect with the racial profiling reports filed with the state on March 1, 2019. Big changes include requiring police to tell if they found contraband when conducting searches and what it was:
8. Was Contraband discovered? CCP 2.133(b)(4)  
9. Description of contraband CCP 2.133(b)(4)
9.1 Drugs:
9.2 Currency:
9.3 Weapons:
9.4 Alcohol:
9.5 Stolen property:
9.6 Other:
We're also going to start getting more data on the results of traffic stops by agency:
10. Result of the stop
10.1 Verbal warning: CCP 2.133(b)(8)
10.2 Written warning: CCP 2.133(b)(8)
10.3 Citation: CCP 2.133(b)(8)
10.4 Written warning and arrest:
10.5 Citation and arrest: 
And when drivers are arrested for Class C misdemeanors, we'll get data parsing that, too:
11 Arrest: CCP 2.133(b)(6)
11.1 Violation of Penal Code:
11.2 Violation of Traffic Law:
11.3 Violation of City Ordinance:
11.4 Outstanding Warrant: 
Finally, we'll find out how often officers use force at traffic stops:
12. Was physical force resulting in bodily injury used during stop? CCP 2.132(b)(6)(D), 2.133(b)(9)
12.1 Yes:
12.2 No:
These are important changes, many of them on the leftover wishlist of items we couldn't get into Texas' original racial profiling bill back in 2001, or when a central repository was created for the reports in 2009. In a lot of ways, adding the requirement to gather the additional data finishes off that 2001 project. Texas' racial profiling data has already significantly contributed to discussions about law enforcement practices in Texas, including on matters that have nothing to do with allegations of racism. This will make this data even more useful in the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's preventing the state from using a unified criminal booking database with criteria set by Austin? It's 2018, there is no excuse for this data to be this hard to compile.

If local departments complain that they need their own special system because "reasons" then you remind them who cuts those subsidy checks and issues their licenses.

And if they complain about the state socialism Boogeyman stomping around they can all quit their labor union.