Host Frank Stasio talks with Ian Mance, a civil rights attorney for the Southern Coalition of Social Justice, and Frank Baumgartner, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Baumgartner published a statewide study tracking racial disparities in police stop-and-search practices. He later worked with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice to analyze Durham-specific data.
While [the data] doesn’t prove anything by itself, it certainly is reason why a police department executive, or any leader of a bureaucracy like that or an agency, should want to look into it. And what we saw with Chief Lopez is, rather than look into it and say, “Thank you for that information. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not something I’m happy to see, but I’m the chief of the department. We need to look into this with greater detail and find out what’s at the bottom of this.” But instead, what we found is a stonewall. -Frank Baumgartner