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According to Rod Carter in this article, there might be some questionable bike ticketing within the Tampa Bay area. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) asked the Tampa Police to stop writing bike citations because African-Americans might be getting treated unfairly. Through an investigation conducted by the local newspaper, African-Americans have received 79 percent of all of the bike citations that were given. Tampa police chief stated that according to the rest of their statistics, only 29 percent of total tickets were given to African-Americans. Due to these figures, the police department decided to do a comprehensive analysis of their stop and ticketing data with the help of the office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) with the goal of identifying whether or not there are racial disparities.
79 percent of all bike citations being given to African Americans sounds a bit extreme. However, what Rod Carter fails to mention is what percentage of the bike users are African Americans. Without the full information, we cannot come to the conclusion that 79 percent is as bad as it sounds. Based on the numbers from the newspaper investigation alone, it does appear as though it is or could be racial profiling, but there is still information missing. Regardless of whether or not it is racial profiling, I am very impressed with the Tampa Police Department and their willingness to fully cooperate with the investigations and wanting to perform an analysis. I cannot imagine getting a racial profiling allegation against myself. I hope the Tampa Bay Police Department will later provide information of what they find through their analysis.