Black drivers experienced drug and alcohol searches at about 4.4 times the white rate in 2019. The disparity has persisted and increased since 2015, in which Black drivers were affected by searches at about four times the white rate.

By Elena K. Cruz

Black drivers experienced drug and alcohol searches at about 4.4 times the white rate in 2019. The disparity has persisted and increased since 2015, in which Black drivers were affected by searches at about four times the white rate.

In April 2016, less than one month after buying his new BMW, community activist Mar’kiez Smith was sitting in the backseat of a police car for doing nothing illegal at all.

As a 20-year-old proud of his new car, he had gone for a late-night drive with three friends on the south side of town, Smith recalled. Then a police officer pulled him over.

Smith, a Black man, had a temporary license tag in the back window, which wasn’t easily visible, the officer told him.

“We got…

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