WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If you’re a black male in Wilmington, you’re more likely to get pulled over and searched at traffic stops. That’s according to a 2013 Wilmington police Internal Affairs Report.
With the total population of white residents in Wilmington more than three times the population of black residents, why is a black driver is three times more likely to be searched?
“I feel like it’s higher because of the gangs and drugs that go on in the community,” Desiray McClammy said.
Biased based profiling forms submitted by Wilmington police officers last year show the proportion of black drivers pulled over islarger than white drivers.
And of those pulled over, 13% of black drivers and passengers were searched while only 4% of white drivers and passengers were searched.
“I think it’s disgusting,” Leo Hussein said.
But former police officer Fred Pickler says it has nothing to do with race.
“You stop them by where they are at, what they are doing, if they are acting furtive, or looking the wrong way, or get real paranoid if you pull up beside them, then there is a problem,” Pickler said.
Wilmington police Deputy Chief Marshall Williamson says it depends on the totality of the circumstances.
“If our officers are in an area where it may have been a black-on-black crime in a predominantly black neighborhood town then the stops in those particular areas of the town may tend to be more of one ethnicity than another,” Williamson said.
City council member Earl Sheridan says it’s something he would have to look into more.
“I’ll have to see the numbers and have to see comparisons, and that kind of thing. Of course, you know, on the faith of it, it sounds a little suspicious,” Sheridan said.
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