Town Meeting Held Over Racial Profiling - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/28/04 - Nacogdoches

Town Meeting Held Over Racial Profiling

"East Texas has a history of profiling. Not necessarily Nacogdoches, but all of the surrounding towns here in East Texas, which includes Nacogdoches," said John Morrison, President, Nacogdoches NAACP.

Racial profiling. It's an ugly topic, but one that has unfortunately become necessary over the years. In fact, police departments are now having to keep racial profiling data. The latest report, published by Steward Research Group, says that blacks are 1.5 times more likely to be searched by Nacogdoches law enforcement than whites. It also indicates that Hispanics are 1.8 times more likely to be searched.

"Your skin color has a lot to do with you, whether you are stopped or not. Where you live has a lot to do. What you are doing, different times of the day and night has a lot to do with whether or not you are going to be stopped," said Morrison.

When we spoke with the Nacogdoches Police Department last month about the report's findings, they felt the results were not all that accurate because of the way it was gathered, but whether the figures in the report are accurate or not, the community came together tonight to find out what to do about racial profiling. Morrison says that it all begins with education.

"We are hoping to educate the citizen's of Nacogdoches and other areas, other cities, or people who attend this meeting. Let them know their rights," said Morrison.

Speakers at tonight's meeting say that the one thing that you can do to prevent racial profiling is when you feel it occurs, simply complain. They say the only way to fix the problem of racial profiling is to write local officials and tell them what is going on.

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