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Police Behavior During Traffic and Street Stops, 2011

NCJ Number
242937
Date Published
September 2013
Length
22 pages
Author(s)
Lynn Langton, Ph.D.; Matthew Durose
Agencies
BJS
Publication Series
Annotation
This report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) presents information on police behavior during traffic and street stops for fiscal year 2011.
Abstract
Highlights from this report on police behavior during traffic and street stops during fiscal year 2011 include the following: Black drivers (13 percent) were more likely than White (10 percent) and Hispanic (10 percent) drivers to be pulled over in a traffic stop during their most recent contact with police; persons involved in street stops were less likely (71 percent) than drivers in traffic stops (88 percent) to believe that the police behaved properly, and a smaller percentage of Blacks than Whites believed that police behaved properly during the stop; drivers pulled over by an officer of the same race or ethnicity were more likely than drivers pulled over by an officer of a different race or ethnicity to believe that the reason for the traffic stop was legitimate; and White drivers were both ticketed and searched at lower rates than Black and Hispanic drivers. This report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), examines involuntary contacts with police, specifically those that occur during traffic and street stops, to determine variations in the public's perceptions of police behavior and police legitimacy. Data for the study were obtained from BJS's 2011 Police-Public Contact Survey (PPCS), a supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. The PPCS collects information on persons' contact with police during a 12-month period. The PPCS for 2011 found that over 62.9 million U.S. residents aged 16 or older had 1 or more contacts with the police during the prior 12 months. Of the 62.9 million, almost half (49 percent) experienced involuntary or police-initiated contact, with the majority (86 percent of traffic stops and 66 percent of street stops) believing that the police behaved properly and treated them with respect during contact. Tables, figure, and appendixes

Date Created: September 24, 2013