Police officers stopped 12,172 motorists in the first six months of 2014 – 7,120, or 58.5 percent, of the drivers were black; 4,686, or 38.5 percent were white.
Thirty-one percent of the stops were in an area police call the “density zone” – an area covering much of east-central Durham. The area comprises 5.9 of the city’s 108.6 square miles, or 5.4 percent; its population is 63.5 percent black, 19 percent white.
Fifty-two percent of the white drivers stopped got tickets; 40 percent of the black drivers stopped got tickets.
Six percent of the black drivers and passengers stopped were searched, 1 percent of the white drivers and passengers.
Those figures are from a “Bias Based Policing Traffic Report” ( bit.ly/1zWjgTA) that Police Chief Jose L. Lopez will present at Thursday’s City Council work session.
Semi-annual bias reports are one of the new measures the city has begun in response to the Human Relations Commission’s finding of racial bias and profiling by Durham police and recommendation to address it.
The Police Department has rebutted the bias claims. Its general orders forbid racial profiling, and the new traffic report states, “Upon review of the data and in the context of other variables noted in this report, there does not appear to be an indication of bias-based profiling in our citizen/motorist encounters.”
Other reports headed to the council detail:
• Complaints handled by the police force’s internal affairs unit in July through September (bit.ly/10d5V8N
• Attendance at Partners Against Crime monthly meetings, July through September (bit.ly/1wXaVdM
• Progress implementing City Manager Tom Bonfield’s recommendations based on the Human Relations Commission report and the Civilina Police Review Board’s self-study (bit.ly/1t1LJgT
The reports expand on the crime statistics Lopez already presents each quarter.
Lopez will continue making his regular presentations on crime data and police activity during a regular Monday-night council meeting; his third-quarter report is scheduled Nov. 20.
Several changes for the Police Review Board are a separate agenda item for the Nov. 20 meeting ( bit.ly/1yOAeyR). Among them:
• The city manager’s appointments to the board must be confirmed by the City Council – previously the council had no role
• Citizens have 30 days to file appeals of internal affairs’ decisions – previously they had only 14 days
• The board has to host at least one public event a year to explain what it does and collect comment on the complaint process – previously there was no such requirement.