Teachers' blog


【Police stops in NY: Part 4】


(Contributed by Kota)
We now know that weight and height affect police officers’ decision-making. What about some other factors? I wanted to see if age is a factor, for example. However, the data has funny numbers for age, and I cannot figure out what some numbers mean. Here, I picked up two more factors, instead. Does your body type affect police officers’ decision-making? If you are muscular, do you look suspicious to police? Does race affect their decision-making as well?
Body type(build)
Figure 1 shows the numbers of police stops by body type in five locations in NY. I personally thought that, if you were muscular, you would have more chance to be asked by police officers. Wrong. They hardly select muscular individuals. If your body type is medium, which means you have normal body type, they tend to ask people to stop. Likewise, if you are thin, you are likely to be asked to stop.
This is the big thing. Ideally, we hope police select people without bias in race. But, that is not true. As you see in Figure 2, police officers clearly target black and white Hispanic. They particularly target black more. You could argue that you have more black in Brooklyn, if you want.

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