Driving while black: Carolina city crafts racial awareness police policy

By Luis E. Gomez, Associate Editor Vol. 20

The protests in Ferguson have prompted a national debate about race and the militarization of local police forces.  In Durham, North Carolina, racial profiling has played a major role in the city’s enforcement of drug laws. Civil rights advocates claim that black motorists are three times as likely as white drivers to be targeted for police traffic stops and searches.  After months of community pressure, Durham cops will undergo racial awareness training and begin regularly analyzing traffic stop data.  Despite this policy initiative, civic organizers are pushing for other changes, like requiring written consent for automobile searches.  The policy changes were likely implemented in response to rising tensions between the Durham police force and the local community.  For more on these policy initiatives, read here.