Initial findings of an ongoing study concludes
racial profiling is not a factor in traffic stops made by Reno
However, the preliminary results also said blacks and Hispanics
are twice as likely than whites to be searched, handcuffed or asked
to get out of their vehicles after a stop is made.
Minority leaders say while there are still complaints of racial
profiling, community relationships with police have improved.
"I don't think it's as bad as it used to be," said Lucille
Adin, president of the Reno-Sparks chapter of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "Things are
getting better but not where it should be."
The results, compiled by a private consulting firm, said 71
percent of drivers in the study were white, 17 percent were
Hispanic, about 4 percent were Asian and about 3 percent were
More than 40,000 vehicles were counted and information was
gathered on 5,000 traffic stops at 13 intersections, officials
Reno police Commander Ron Holladay said the findings provide a
snapshot of police actions but don't tell the whole story.
"There's no way to explain why the additional actions were
taken after a stop," he said.
He said complaints of racial profiling have been isolated and
infrequent. He said the department has done a better job of
integrating itself with the community by the continuation of these
traffic studies and diversity training for officers.
The 2001 Nevada Legislature required law enforcement agencies to
conduct racial profiling studies in traffic stops. The Reno City
Council authorized money for the study.
"Racial profiling was on the forefront not because of us, but
from other incidents across the nation that were greatly
publicized," Holladay said.
"The additional focus on profiling is what spurred Nevada to
mandate the study as well as our own continuation of the project."