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2004 Demographic Analysis of UT Police Contacts

Analysis

The data presented in this report contains valuable informatio regarding police contacts with the public between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2004. Despite its value, the raw data does not present much information relevant to racial profiling trends.

Thus, it is felt that further analysis of the data is warranted. As such, data was obtained through the demographics provided by The University of Texas at Austin, via The University Web site. The data obtained includes the race and gender of students, staff and faculty for The University of Texas at Austin campus for the Fall 2004 semester. The decision to obtain UT Austin demographic data was made since, typically, university campuses include a very transient society of people. Thus, excluding individuals who may have come in contact with UTPD, but do not comprise the total “permanent inhabitants,” have been eliminated from the analysis section of this report. By gathering University affiliation upon contact as a result of traffic stops, UTPD has provided the most accurate analysis of contacts related to the relatively “permanent inhabitants” of the campus.

When comparing university “permanent inhabitants” (students, staff and faculty) who came in contact with UTPD during 2004 with those who, according to UT Austin demographic statistics, were “permanent inhabitants” of the university during that time, the data produced interesting findings. That is, the number of police contacts with UT Caucasian subjects, 66.7% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of Caucasian “permanent inhabitants,” 60.2% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were over-representative of the overall population percentage.

In addition, when analyzing, in the same manner, the data relevant to individuals of African descent, the number of police contacts with UT African subjects, 5.5% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of African “permanent inhabitants,” 3.9% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were over-representative of the overall population percentage.

When analyzing, in the same manner, the data relevant to individuals of Asian descent, the number of police contacts with UT Asian subjects, 17.6% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of Asian “permanent inhabitants,” 14.7% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were over-representative of the overall population percentage.

When analyzing, in the same manner, the data relevant to individuals of Hispanic descent, the number of police contacts with UT Hispanic subjects, 9.7% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of Hispanic “permanent inhabitants,” 13.9% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were under-representative of the overall population percentage.

When analyzing, in the same manner, the data relevant to individuals of Native American descent, the number of police contacts with UT Native American descent subjects, 0.1% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of unknown/other descent “permanent inhabitants,” 0.4% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were under-representative of the overall population percentage.

Finally, when analyzing, in the same manner, the data relevant to individuals of unknown/other descent, the number of police contacts with UT unknown/other descent subjects, 1% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of unknown/other descent “permanent inhabitants,” 6.9% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were under-representative of the overall population percentage.

Table 1. General Demographics of Contacts and Searches for all Traffic Contacts (2004)
Race/Ethnicity * Contacts Searches Consensual Searches Probable Cause Custody Arrest
Caucasian 1399 (68.6%) 54 (70.1%) 5 (83.3%) 5 (62.5%) 44 (69.8%)
African 113 (5.5%) 5 (6.5%) 1 (1.7%) 1 (12.5%) 3 (4.8%)
Hispanic 204 (10%) 16 (20.8%) none 2 (25%) 14 (22.2%)
Asian 301 (14.8%) 2 (2.6%) none none 2 (3.2%)
Native American 4 (0.2%) none none none none
Other 18 (0.9%) none none none none
Total 2039 (100%) 77 (100%) 6 (100%) 8 (100%) 63 (100%)
Table 2. Comparison of Traffic Stops of “Permanent Inhabitants” and UT Austin Demographics for 2004
Race/Ethnicity * Demographics Traffic Stops
Caucasian 43,511 (60.2%) 929 (66.1%)
African 2,814 (3.9%) 77 (5.5%)
Hispanic 10,052 (13.9%) 136 (9.7%)
Asian 10,639 (14.7%) 248 (17.6%)
Native American 301 (0.4%) 2 (0.1%)
Unknown/Other 4,965 (6.9%) 14 (1%)
Total 72,282 (100%) 1,406 (100%)

* Race/Ethnicity are defined by Senate Bill 1074 as being of a “particular descent, including Caucasian, African, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American.”

pie charts representing UT Austin Fall 2004 demographics and UTPD traffic stops