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Study: White drivers stopped more

White drivers are slightly more likely than minority drivers to be stopped by Evanston police.


White drivers are slightly more likely than minority drivers to be stopped by Evanston police.

That’s the conclusion of the just-released fifth annual state-wide study of police stops by the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Evanston’s stop ratio was 0.92 minorities stopped for every white driver stopped.

Statewide the ratio flips — with minority drivers somewhat more likely than white drivers to be stopped — at a ratio of 1.13.

Evanston’s ratio had hovered around the 1.0 mark — signaling no disparity — in each of the study’s four previous years.

The ratios are directly affected by conclusions about the composition of the driving population in a community.

During the study’s first year, in 2004, Evanston was one of several towns bordering Chicago that convinced researchers that the minority population assumed for their towns should be raised to reflect the more heavily minority population of the surrounding area.

Evanston’s estimated minority driving population was raised from 32 percent to 47.5 percent.

In most other communities census data for the community itself is used as the basis for estimating the population split.

Minorities who were stopped in Evanston were also slightly less likely to be issued a citation than white drivers — 86 percent of white drivers received tickets while 81 percent of minority drivers did.

Splitting results by minority group, blacks received citations in 78.5 percent of stops, while Hispanics and Asians were ticketed about as often as whites.

Northwestern University police were somewhat more likely to stop minority drivers, with a 1.08 ratio last year. But that was down from 1.22 in 2007. It had been around the 1.1 mark for the prior three years.

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