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2005 Demographic Analysis of UT Police Contacts

Analysis

The data presented in this report contains valuable information regarding police contacts with the public between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005. 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 website. The data obtained includes the race and gender of students, staff and faculty for The University of Texas at Austin campus for the Fall semester 2005. The decision to obtain The University of Texas at 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 The University of Texas at Austin Police Department, 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, The University of Texas at Austin Police Department has provided the most accurate analysis of contacts related to the relatively "permanent inhabitants" of the campus of The University of Texas at Austin.

When comparing The University “permanent inhabitants” (students, staff and faculty) who came in contact with The University of Texas at Austin Police Department during 2004 with those who, according to The University of Texas at 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, 68% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of Caucasian "permanent inhabitants," 64% 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, 6% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of African "permanent inhabitants," 4% 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, 19% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of Asian "permanent inhabitants," 16% 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, 7% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of Hispanic "permanent inhabitants," 15% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were under-representative of the overall population percentage.

No contacts with persons of Native American descent were stopped in traffic related stops of the calendar year of 2005.

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, less than 1% of all UT traffic contacts, when compared to the number of unknown/other descent "permanent inhabitants," less than 1% of campus population, demonstrated that the number of contacts with the police were representative of the overall population percentage.

Table 1. General Demographics of Contacts and Searches for all Traffic Contacts (2005)
Race/Ethnicity * Contacts Searches Consensual Searches Probable Cause Custody Arrest
Caucasian 1285 (69%) 109 (69%) 21 (81%) 1 (100%) 93 (69%)
African 131 (7%) 12 (8%) none none 12 (9%)
Hispanic 132 (7%) 21 (13%) 2 (8%) none 19 (14%)
Asian 294 (15.6%) 16 (10%) 3 (11%) none 13 (9%)
Native American none none none none none
Other 32 (1.7%) none none none none
Total 1,874 (100%) 158 (100%) 26 (100%) 1 (100%) 137 (100%)
Table 2. Comparison of Traffic Stops of “Permanent Inhabitants” and UT Austin Demographics for 2005
Race/Ethnicity * Demographics Traffic Stops
Caucasian 42,973 (64%) 840 (68%)
African 2,960 (4%) 78 (6%)
Hispanic 10,413 (15%) 82 (7%)
Asian 10,520 (16%) 235 (19%)
Native American 318 (0.3%) none
Unknown/Other 541 (0.7%) 3 (0.2%)
Total 67,725 (100%) 1,238 (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 2005 demographics and UTPD traffic stops