A 2002 report just out on Texas law agencies and racial profiling claims it's a big problem. It shows that Lubbock ranks high on the list. In regard to Lubbock, it says blacks are three times more likely to be searched than whites. This report was commissioned by several Civil Rights organizations throughout the state. But the Lubbock Police Department says the 2002 report doesn't tell the full story.
A fairly new Texas law was created to crack down on racial profiling by police. Several Civil Rights groups have collected data that reveals if you're black or Hispanic, you're more than likely to be stopped and searched.
These numbers are based on what Lubbock police turned in. Blacks are nearly three times more likely to be searched than whites and Hispanics are two times more likely to be searched than whites. According to the data, Lubbock P.D. ranks high for racial profiling.
Lubbock Police Lieutenant Victor Quintana will argue that's not the case. Furthermore, he'll tell you this 2002 report is only based on numbers and nothing more. "They're giving you aggregate numbers which are black and white numbers. They're not giving you the causes of why the stops are being conducted, why searches are being conducted," Quintana said.
In other words, he says eyewitnesses and dispatch usually tip police off in order to give probable cause to stop and search vehicles.
Carlos Villarreal with the Texas Criminal Justice Reform Coalition in Austin says if police departments are claiming no racial profiling despite what the numbers show, then police need to show some proof. "Either more data or something to lend support to that because otherwise, I think, especially when the number are as unfair as Lubbock's search rates, then it is really difficult to imagine what the explanation could be."
This the first report ever done by an organization since a racial profiling law was passed in 2001. This law requires that all Texas law agencies turn in racial profiling data in order to deter from bad policing.
The coalition in Austin says they hope Legislators will standardize the way a lot of this data is reported by police.