African Americans 3X More Likely To Be Pulled Over In East Lansing
I don't know if I'm just lucky or what.
I've been to East Lansing several times.
My barber is in Downtown East Lansing.
I go shopping in East Lansing a lot.
I'm African American. And I've never been pulled over in East Lansing.
Am I lucky? Was it my car? Was it because I'm there mostly during the day?
Or is it just a matter of time?
And even though I haven't been pulled over, news like this bothers me and makes me think.
Data from the East Lansing Police Department showed African-American residents in East Lansing were almost three times more likely to be pulled over by police than Caucasians. (WLNS)
Ok. African-American residents in East Lansing. I don't reside there. Is that why I haven't been pulled over? And does that still make this data that they've collected right?
In the last four months of 2020 (Sept. – Dec.), 24 percent of people stopped by police were black.
That is significant considering the latest data from the census which shows African Americans make up less than 7 percent of the population, while Caucasians make up more than 75 percent. (WLNS)
Wait. How do you make up less than 7% of the population but account for 24% of the traffic stops in this time frame?
Something is very, very wrong here. I travel to this city. I shop and spend money in East Lansing. And even though I haven't been pulled over, these numbers suggest "YET" and "it's only a matter of time". And even though I've been "lucky", what about those who haven't?
This is not an issue that people HAVEN'T spoken up about. They have. And now, there's numbers, data, facts to back that up.
Over a three year period, Root said African Americans made up around 40 percent of total arrests and in a four year period, a higher number of black people experienced use of force than white people. (WLNS)
But will it truly make a difference?
An East Lansing police officer who was under criminal investigation over allegations he used excessive force has been cleared by the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office. (Lansing State Journal)
As an African-American male, when the issue of police brutality had been brought up before people have often said, "but where's your proof"? Did video of acts of violence change that perception? Sadly, not really. And officers were acquitted in case after case when transgressions were clearly captured on camera.
“You can’t run away from issues like this, you can’t deny and try to you know, save face in situations that’s why we put the data out there,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens.
He said the city is working to address it in every way that it can.(WLNS)
Guess I've been lucky. And now that I know how lucky I've been, would you think wrong of me if I didn't go back to keep trying my luck?
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