CBS Local — Electing more black people to local government can prevent police from disproportionately ticketing black communities, according to a new study.
Cities with larger black populations rely more heavily on fines and court fees for revenue, the study says.
Analyzing data from more than 9,000 cities, researchers discovered that the average collection was about $8 per person for all cities that obtain at least some revenue from fines and fees. But that figure rose to as high as $20 per person in cities with the largest black populations, the study says.
The study’s authors, political science researchers Michael Sances of the University of Memphis and Hye Young You of Vanderbilt University, found that the trend continued to occur after controlling for other factors, including differences in crime rates and city population sizes.
When the researchers used a smaller sample of about 3,700 cities due to data access limitations, Sances and You found that the relationship between race and fines dropped by about 50 percent when at least one black person served on the city council.
“What a lot of cities do is rely on a source of revenue that falls disproportionately on their black residents,” Sances told Vox. “And when blacks gain representation on the city council, this relationship gets a lot better. The situation doesn’t become perfect, but it becomes alleviated to a great extent.”
But the researchers do not expect that even full black representation in local government would completely end disproportionate ticketing of black communities.
“There’s a degree of influence there for sure,” Sances said. “[But] we don’t assume city councils have perfect control over the police.”
The researchers cannot definitively explain why representation in local government reduces the relationship between race and fines so dramatically.
But one possibility is that black politicians are more likely to be receptive to black communities’ concerns, and thus become more active in voicing concerns with exploitative practices by police departments, according to Vox.
The study’s findings do not prove causation, and the researchers said no definitive conclusions can be drawn from their study alone. Although Sances and You attempted to control for any influential factors, the researchers said they could have missed something.
Sances and You said they hope to address any of their study’s limitations in future research.
Person dead after shooting in SW Birmingham
UPDATE: Lt. Sean Edwards confirms the victim has succumbed to his injuries. ——————- BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT): A male faces life threatening injuries after being shot in the chest at 4413 Eli Ave, says Lt.
Some days are difficult and yet I have grown to love and accept myself. However, I have days when I look at myself in the mirror and I can see the battle scars from the years of emotional and mental battles that have taken there toll. I see them in my eyes, skin, hands, legs, and entire body. My…
CHICAGO (AP) — Jarid Lukosevicius scored three goals in the second period, and Denver beat Minnesota Duluth 3-2 on Saturday night for the NCAA championship.
Troy Terry had two assists and Tanner Jaillet made 38 saves as Denver moved into a tie with North Dakota for second on the NCAA list with eight men’s hockey titles, trailing only Michigan with nine. The Pioneers (33-7-4) also made it to the…
Even though our local bear reliably shows up sometime in the first week of April, I am reluctant to take the feeders in. Well, he/she is right on schedule, having paid us a visit last night. So ends bird feeding for another season.
To help compensate, the almost-full moon looks beautiful tonight…
Alabama governor faces impeachment hearings after ruling
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley will face impeachment hearings beginning Monday after the state Supreme Court gave lawmakers the greenlight to move ahead with an effort to oust the governor, who is fighting to stay in office amid fallout from an affair with a top aide.
Police are searching for a man who was caught on camera ransacking a South Florida auto shop before stealing cash and taking off in a customer’s transit van, early Saturday.
The entrance to USA Auto Care Center might look fine — at first. But at around 3 a.m., owner Nour Albandakji got a call from his alarm company alerting him about the break-in.
Albandakji then called the police and drove to…
This tale of a shy teen loner using his newfound rebellious side to refigure peer and parental relationships occupies familiar but pleasing seriocomic Amerindie terrain.