Report Shows African Americans More Likely To Be Ticketed

July 13, 2015
 

A report released earlier this month looked at racial disparities in police traffic stops in Urbana.

An Urbana City Council task force looked at ten years of traffic stop data compiled by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Their preliminary report, released earlier this month, found that African-Americans were more likely than others to be stopped and ticketed by police.

Paul Testa serves on the task force. He says that finding the exact reason for the discrepancy is difficult.

“There are lots of reasons why we might see disparities in the traffic data." Testa said. "If you drive an older car and are more likely to have a broken taillight that could be one reason we might see one group stopped more than others. Or if you live in a neighborhood where the police are never there, then you could drive around with a taillight and never be stopped.”

The report is up for public comment until August 31st. Testa says he’d like many people to comment.

“I think this is the start of a conversation to the extent that we can have as many voices represented in the conversation that is one goal. so having both the community the police, the city of Urbana, all the major parties involved it would be great to get feedback from as many people as possible.”

A resolution to extend the time to finish the report and make public comment was slated to be put up to vote at the Urbana City Council's Committee of the Whole meeting Monday night.

UPDATE: That vote was approved Monday, sending it to full council for approval.  They're asking the comment period to be extended to September 30th, and for submission of a final report on findings for October 30th.

Story source: WILL