Last week Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott and two staffers attended a White House briefing and discussion on “21st Century Policing.”
Scott told the News & Record the Aug. 16 seminar was “an opportunity for us to broaden our horizons.”
You may remember that the Greensboro Police Department, the center of a number of controversies over the years, was featured in a New York Times piece on racial disparities in policing last year.
According to a Times analysis, black drivers in Greensboro were more likely to be pulled over for routine traffic violations.
They were also more than twice as likely to be searched when pulled over, despite white drivers being found to have contraband more often during searches.
Black drivers also were also found to be four times more likely to be charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing an officer — a charge so ubiquitous that some police departments discourage its use unless an incident involves other, more serious crimes.
The analysis also showed black drivers were five times more likely to be charged for possession of small amounts of marijuana, despite studies showing marijuana use is virtually the same among black and white people.
The Times story led the Greensboro police department to take a number of steps that decreased the racial disparities in traffic stops in just a month.