City Councilman Questions Racial Profiling Report, MPD Complaint Process 2/26/13
February 26, 2013
MIDLAND-MPD’s annual report on Racial Profiling in traffic stops is out--and a new councilman is looking for answers.
City councilman John Love says out of the nearly 12,000 traffic stops made last year in Midland, the number of African Americans stopped and Hispanics searched stood out.
"The percentages of arrests and searches are higher for Africans than in respect to their percentage of the total population,” said Councilmember John Love III. “That’s also true in some cases for Hispanics.”
The group behind the study says data meets state requirements, and it's not enough to draw any conclusions without specific reports of racial profiling.
But love says it's intimidating for people to file complaints.
"There haven't been any complaints filed because it's extremely difficult to file a complaint,” Love said.
Love says his office received a complaint of racial profiling, so he went to the police office himself to find the form.
"I let them know that I wanted to file a complaint. Their first question to me was why, and I think that's totally inappropriate,” Love said. “If me in a suit as a councilman-elect, if it was that difficult to try and get the information, imagine how your average citizen who may not know the process would feel?”
To fill out a complaint you have to make an appointment with a special officer, meet with him and fill out the form in his presence. There is a “how-to” brochure in the lobby for filing the complaint.
We asked the police chief if the process could deter people from filing complaints.
"It could, but there are people in the past who have gone through that process and not had a problem," said Chief of Police Price Robinson.
We also asked if the chief was concerned about racial profiling, given some of the statistics on stops and searches for African Americans and Hispanics.
"But that one percent, no I’m not concerned about it,” said Robinson, outlining measures officers take to prevent Racial Profiling. “You know we want all the stops to be made within the law.”
MPD says it does not have any plans to make any changes to the way it takes complaints.