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Friday, November 19, 2021 1pm to 2pm

Virtual Event
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This seminar will be cohosted with the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.

ABSTRACT: To assess racial disparities in police interactions with the public, we compiled and analyzed a dataset detailing nearly 100 million municipal and state patrol traffic stops conducted in dozens of jurisdictions across the country---the largest such effort to date. We analyzed these records in three steps. First, we measured potential bias in stop decisions by examining whether Black drivers are less likely to be stopped after sunset, when a "veil of darkness" masks one's race. Second, we investigated potential bias in decisions to search stopped drivers. Finally, we examined the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana on policing in Colorado and Washington state. We find evidence of bias against minority drivers in both stop and search decisions, and also that the bar for searching minority drivers remains lower than for white drivers after marijuana legalization.

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