Should Texas Ban Police from Pulling Over Low-Level Traffic Violators?
The City of Philadelphia recently passed legislation that would ban police from pulling over drivers of vehicles with low-level violations. Should Texas do the same thing?
The thought here is that it would reduce racial profiling, and there are studies that back that up.
KXXV Channel 25 reports that those low-level violations would include pulling a car over for things such as driving with a broken taillight, not wearing a seatbelt, ect.
The legislation in Philadelphia doesn't go into effect for three months, but does follow the trend of other states and municipalities, like the City of Minneapolis and the State of Virginia, that are also looking for ways to reduce racial profiling and have decided to institute the same kinds of laws.
Isaiah Thomas, a Philadelphia council member who worked on the legislation called the Driving Equality Bill says, “We feel like an entire generation can be changed as it relates to their perception of law enforcement and law enforcement relations, being pulled over by police is what I would like to call a cultural norm. We would purchase our cars based on the likelihood of being pulled over or not pulled over. The amount of people you’d drive with would be predicated on this idea of not wanting to be pulled over.”
A study by the University of South Carolina looked at 14 years of traffic stops in North Carolina and found that Black drivers were 63% more likely to get pulled over than White drivers, and 115% more likely to get searched during that traffic stop.
Newsweek reports Philadelphia's new law would help "further the Department's priority of addressing the issue of racial disparity in the Department's investigative stops and complements the Department's efforts to address these same issues in pedestrian stops" according to a statement from the Philadelphia Police Department.
The numbers show the disparity and instead of "defunding the police," which is just ridiculous, maybe this is a worthwhile way to do it.
What are your thoughts? Should Texas follow in Philadelphia's footsteps here?