Driving While Black: Racial Profiling in the State of Vermont

The phenomenon of Driving While Black has been written about quite often. Many studies have shown that Black drivers are far more likely than White drivers to be pulled over by police. Furthermore, cars of Black drivers are far more likely to be searched than cars of White drivers.

But a new study by Stephanie Seguino, a professor of economics at the University of Vermont, shows that the phenomenon takes places even in one of the nation’s most liberal states and one of the nation’s Whitest states. The data in Dr. Seguino’s study shows that Black drivers were more likely to receive tickets than White drivers. And Black drivers were more than three times as likely to have their cars searched than White drivers. This is true despite the fact that Whites were more likely to be found with contraband leading to arrests or citations.

“When it comes to police and race, the data suggests that Vermont may not be as different from other states as some might think,” Dr. Seguino said. “Given that Black and Hispanic drivers are searched more, but found with less contraband, it suggests police use a lower threshold of evidence for these searches. It also points to potential inefficiencies in policing.”

The study, “Driving While Black or Brown in Vermont,” may be downloaded by clicking here.

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  1. I was stopped by the US Border Patrol while in law school in Vermont. This is not new to me because I experienced it first hand while living in Vermont.

    • The paper is mostly data maybe the author can convince the US Department of Justice of a pattern and practice because they would not listen to me.

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