COLLEGE STATION, TX — Researches from across the Texas A&M University System are beginning to analyze racial profiling data from police stops throughout the state.
The Sandra Bland Act requires every single traffic stop in the state of Texas to be documented by law enforcement.
Researchers across the Texas A&M University System will now be using that data to analyze racial profiling.
Since the Sandra Bland Act went into effect in January of 2018, the data submitted by Texas’ nearly 28 hundred law enforcement agencies have not been analyzed.
“By looking at over 2000 agencies it gives us a good insight to law enforcement today across the U.S. as well,” says Dr. Alex del Carmen, Tarleton State University Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts’ School of Criminology, Criminal Justice and Strategic Studies.
Researchers will look at the data at the state level to see if they are in compliance with the law, and whether or not the agencies are analyzing their data.
“And in addition to that to also identify the areas where we can assist police agencies throughout the state in getting to that point,” says Dr. Del Carmen.
In College Station, police gather body and dash-cam video along with physical documentation to be analyzed annually.
“We have an outside consultant look at all of our citation and all of the profiling data that we are required by the state to gather and then the outside consultant looks at that and makes a presentation to our city council,” says College Station Police Department Assistant Chief Chuck Fleeger.
With zero tolerance for racial profiling in the police departments within Brazos County, Ebony Peterson with the Black Lives Matter chapter says she personally hasn’t had any issues with local law enforcement.
“I haven’t really had any problems with them so I can’t really just say, yeah its a good thing, I can’t really just say, ‘oh its a problem.’”
Now, more so than ever, analyzing racial profiling within our local law enforcement will keep everyone accountable.
“This is a unique time in law enforcement and in our communities. We are blessed to, I believe, we have a good relationship with our community but that is not something we take for granted,” says Fleeger.
Researchers say the project will be ongoing as the work to help educate the state on how Texas law enforcement is evolving.
The A&M system currently has multiple research projects focusing on policing and law enforcement.