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Do El Paso police engage in racial profiling? Here’s what the data shows

KVIA chart / EPPD data

EL PASO, Texas -- To examine whether there is racial profiling by El Paso police, ABC-7 filed a public records request and received copies of police reports from 2015 to 2019.

The reports over the four year period showed whites in El Paso were stopped at higher rates than the percentage of whites in the city.

White people accounted for about 25 percent of the traffic stops, while they make up only 11 percent of the El Paso population.

African-Americans are stopped at rates slightly higher than their percentage of population. They accounted for 4.5 percent of traffic stops, while their population in El Paso is just under 4 percent.

It's interesting to note that Hispanics are stopped at rates that are lower than their total percentage of population.

The data showed 67 percent of traffic stops involved Hispanics, but El Paso is 83 percent Hispanic.

According to the El Paso Police Department, officers said they knew the race or ethnicity of drivers before pulling them over in less than two percent of the cases.

However, EPPD also provided information on searches conducted after the traffic stops.

While blacks made up less than five percent of traffic stops, they made up nearly eight percent of all searches, or twice the population.

And while whites made up 25 percent of stops, less than half of those stops involved searches.

For Hispanics, the number of searches conducted was nearly equal to the population, around 80 percent.

ABC-7 also checked on complaints filed alleging officers engaged in racial profiling.

For all of last year, the department said there were eight such complaints made by the public.

Three of those complaints were deemed unfounded, one was not sustained and four are still under investigation.

Article Topic Follows: ABC-7 Alert Center

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Trisha Garcia

Trisha Garcia is an ABC-7 producer.


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