As if I’m some sort of Geico ad.
Black pedestrians were 37 percent more likely to be searched by Baltimore police citywide and 23 percent more likely to be searched during vehicle stops. But officers found contraband twice as often when searching white residents during vehicle stops and 50 percent more often during pedestrian stops, the report notes.
Let’s assume this is true.
Enter mode: Diffuse hysteria, paranoia.
“Contraband” is one of those wide net big tent terms that refer to a lot of things, that are not all the same. Since there’s contraband and there’s contraband, not all contraband is created equal, and some contraband is more worrisome than others.
BPD finds contraband on a white person. The white person is 19 years old, a woman, a Johns Hopkins University student, and the contraband is just enough weed for one doobie.
BPD finds contraband on a black person. He is 25 years old, a man, a resident of the west side of town, a multiple time convicted violent felon, and the contraband is a couple of pistols and several kilos of crack.
Which kind of contraband from which person is a bigger public priority and public nuisance?
Even if white people are twice as likely to possess some form of contraband than black people while out in public, it still makes good sense for the BPD to stop and search blacks at a higher rate than for whites, because their contraband tends to be bigger deals and bigger problems.
End mode: Diffuse hysteria, paranoia.