Racialized Traffic Stop Policing, Star Tribune

Policing in Minneapolis produces starkly racialized disparities in criminalization

Many have extensively documented racial disparities in both the outcomes and practices of policing in the US, prominent among them Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow and Ava DuVernay's documentary 13th. Racist politics and thinking shaped the course of imagining policing and criminal justice systems, from slave-catching patrols to Woodrow Wilson showing "Birth of a Nation" in the White House to Clinton's "super predators" rhetoric accompanying her call for "community policing" and beyond. In that history, to talk about "disparity" may even be misleading: can we even imagine conventional policing without racialized tactics and strategy?

Locally, these disparities are glaring. Traffic stops are massively skewed. 60% of MPD shooting victims are Black. Almost all targets of low-level marijuana stings were Black.

Nationally, similar examples abound. In Los Angeles, Black residents are four times as likely to be cited by police. Across the country, Black people have been 28% of those killed by police in 2020 despite constituting 13% of the population. New York City's "stop and frisk" policing not only massively targeted innocent people, overwhelmingly those people were Black and Latino.