–I apparently have had my head up my butt this week, because I totally missed the whole “A vote for Obama is just basically asking the Republicans to insinuate that he’s a drug dealer” move and subsequent resignation by the Clinton camp. Really, just like everyone insinuated that George Bush was a drug dealer because of his drug history? Or Bill Clinton? Oh, right, because white people don’t deal drugs.
Anyway, I would vote for a guy who sold drugs in his youth. Maybe that makes me a part of the problem or something, but really. No, I’m not going to vote for the guy who’s got some vast drug empire with underlings that go around beating people up to collect on their debts. But the kid who is running across town to pick up some pot or some acid and will bring you some, too, if you give him money? BFD.
–Again, am I an idiot? I read this over at Adam Groves‘ and then read the news article and for the life of me, I can’t understand what the state police are saying in their own defense.
From the article:
Hispanic drivers appear more likely to be stopped by Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers than white and black drivers when compared to each group’s proportion of licensed drivers in the state, a new analysis of THP vehicle stops in 2006 concludes.
One of 19 African-American and white licensed drivers was stopped, compared to one of 11 Hispanic. On a percentage basis, 5.4 percent of Tennessee’s licensed drivers who are black and 5.4 percent who are white are stopped but 8.9 percent of Hispanic licensed drivers were stopped.
Hispanics were more likely to be arrested after a stop than either blacks or whites. One of every 19 stopped Hispanic drivers was arrested, compared to one of 32 blacks and one of 49 whites. Overall, only 1.97 percent of stops resulted in arrests.
Searches were conducted in about 7.4 percent of all stops. Hispanic were searched at higher rates: 12.05 percent of Hispanic stops resulted in searches compared to 7.86 percent of stops of blacks and 7.1 percent of whites.
In 25.5 percent of all searches, troopers seized physical evidence such as weapons, drugs, money, stolen property, drug paraphernalia and license plates on the wrong vehicle. Physical evidence was seized from searched Hispanic drivers at a lower rate than from searched black and white drivers. Among Hispanics, 15.1 percent of searches resulted in evidence seizures compared to 28.09 percent among blacks and 25.31 percent among whites.
And the State Police respond to this by saying:
The Highway Patrol’s commander, Col. Mike Walker, said Thursday that the study’s results for Hispanics may be skewed because the comparisons are based on each group’s proportion of licensed drivers. He said that if media reports of a large wave of undocumented Hispanics in the United States and Tennessee, are true, their number of licensed drivers may be low compared to their actual driving population because illegal immigrants cannot obtain Tennessee driver’s licenses.
On the surface, what the State Police are saying makes sense–let’s say we have a Hispanic driving population of 100 people, but only 50 have driver’s licenses, if ten people are pulled over, it could seem as if one in five licensed Hispanic drivers is pulled over, when really, it’s just one in ten Hispanic drivers being pulled over and it could be that few of them are from the pool of licensed drivers.
This may or may not be true, but it’s a point. However, I can’t help but feel that it’s a bullshit point. The police know and the folks who issued the report know if a driver can legally drive–if they are indeed a licensed driver–and the report seems to very specifically be saying that almost ten percent of licensed Hispanic drivers were pulled over in 2006. It doesn’t seem to me to be addressing what percentage of Hispanic drivers all together were pulled over.
So, either the report is sloppy–using the number of Hispanic drivers driving legally and not to be the number of Hispanics pulled over and only using the number of licensed Hispanic drivers as the total number of Hispanic drivers–or the State Police are hoping that people will think the report is being sloppy.
On the other hand, clearly, this report shows that there’s some problem in the State Police department. If you’re searching Hispanics the most often and finding things in those searches the least, that would seem to me to indicate that you’re really jumping the gun on those searches.
Am I missing something here?
–Okay, I’ll admit, I’m practically eating my own hat in jealousy that Little Pasture just has to fart and it makes the new media hot sheet and I,
with my deep insight and vast political knowledge, with my ability to raise cussing to an art form, can not.
First I get wise to the fact that the liberal Tennessee blogosphere hates me and now I’m suspicious I’m too uncouth for the Governor. What does it take, Tennessee? What does it take? No, I don’t watch Vols football, and the smell of Jack Daniels kind of makes me sick, but I love walking around barefoot in my overalls talking smack about Yankees and growing marijuana in my giant underground cave just as much as the next girl. Love me, too! That’s all I ask.