A Princeton University study has tried to answer one of the most burning questions in law enforcement: Is the whole law enforcement system corrupted by racism?
The research study, which focuses on officer discretion in speeding tickets in Florida, found out that not all cops in the state are bad — but 25 percent are, which is still quite a high number.
The study by researchers Felipe Goncalves and Steven Mello looked at how Florida Highway Patrol officers gave out speeding tickets from 2005 and 2015.
In Florida, the fine for speeding jumps up if a person is cited for going 10 mph over the limit. So, Florida Highway Patrol officers, who have personal leeway to decide how fast a car is going, often choose to give people 9 mph fines, which are lighter than the fines given if you are caught driving above the 10 mph threshold.
That’s a nice thing to do, right?
However, in reality, these discounted tickets are much more often given to white people than people of color.
Thirty-five percent of white drivers get the 9 mph break while only 25 percent of black and Hispanic driver gets the discount.
This study supports other similar research that state people of color, who are accused of the exact same crimes as white people, are given harsher penalties and excessive force than their white counterparts.
Banner/Thumbnail: Reuters, Francois Lenoir