The March 3 article "New London police search minorities more often than whites," questioned whether this is the result of racial profiling. When white drivers are pulled over, 3.4 percent of the time it escalates to a police search versus 8 percent for blacks and 5.4 percent for Hispanics.
Whether or not racial profiling is the reason should be determined. If police only were to search when there was a very obvious indication of a felony (example, drug paraphernalia in view and a pungent smell of marijuana), the percentage that the search resulted in a felony arrest would be very high. If the police searched every time, no matter how harmless the little old lady looked, the percentage that the search resulted in a felony arrest would be very low.
What is the percentage that police searches result in felony arrests for white versus black versus Hispanic drivers? If about the same, the police are using a consistent standard. If the percentages are lower for blacks and Hispanics, the police may be unfairly treating black and Hispanic drivers more harshly. If the percentage is higher for black and Hispanics drivers, conducting the higher percentage of searches may be warranted.