Washington State Magazine

Summer 2004


Summer 2004

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In This Issue...

Features

Short Shakespeareans :: Sherry Schreck has built her life and reputation on her love of children and Shakespeare and her unbridled imagination.

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Photos of the young Shakespeareans }

All that Remains :: Nearly two-thirds of the Lewis and Clark Trail is under man-made reservoirs. Another one-quarter is buried under subdivisions, streets, parks, banks, and other modern amenities. Almost none of the original landscape is intact. No one appreciates this contrast like author and historian Martin Plamondon II, who has reconciled the explorers' maps with the modern landscape.

Full Circle :: Steve Jones and Tim Murray want to make the immense area of eastern Washington, or at least a good chunk of it, less prone to blow, less often bare, even more unchanging. The way they'll do this is to convince a plant that is content to die after it sets seed in late summer that it actually wants to live.

Listening to His Heart :: As a student at WSU in the late '60s, Ken Alhadeff questioned authority with zeal. "I was part of a group of folks that marched down the streets of Pullman to President Terrell's house with torches, demanding that the Black Studies Program not be eliminated. It was a war between us and those insensitive, bureaucratic regents," says Alhadeff...who is now a regent.

Panoramas

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: Where the Lilacs Grow :: A short story by Pamela Smith Hill}

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: Cattle & Women :: An essay by Laurie Winn Carlson}

Departments

:: SEASONS/SPORTS: WSU hall of fame adds five

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Music: Music in response to tragedy :: Bill Morelock plays music discussed in his article "Winter was hard"}

Tracking

Cover: Perennial wheat is not a new idea. But its development on top of increasing input costs and environmental concerns could help secure agriculture's future in eastern Washington. See story, page 33. Photograph by Robert Hubner.

Panoramas
racial profiling

Weldon Wilson

Racial profiling in Washington—policy and perception

by | © Washington State University

The likelihood of being stopped by the Washington State Patrol on state roads and highways is not affected by a driver's race or ethnicity, according to Washington State University researchers who analyzed two million WSP contacts between May 2000 and October 2002.

The WSU report was issued last summer by political scientists Nicholas Lovrich and Mitchell Pickerill, criminal justice professors Michael Gaffney and Michael R. Smith, and sociologist Clay Mosher. Unlike studies in other states, the report indicates no evidence of biased policing in the rate of driver stops.

Washington is one of at least 14 states that have passed legislation to help eliminate "the illegal use of race or ethnicity as a factor" in detaining individuals. Nevertheless, it's clear, Mosher says, that many citizens believe racial profiling is taking place-that minorities are subject to a disproportionate number of stops by WSP officers, despite evidence to the contrary.

This gap between the actual conduct of the WSP and how citizens perceive WSP's actions must be addressed, he says. He believes WSU's report will serve as a foundation for such a task. Left unattended, the issue could undermine the public trust in the WSP.

Unlike previous analyses of racial profiling which split subject populations into broad White and non-White categories, the WSU study categorized the population into Whites, Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics. In addition, many analyses have looked at entire cities or states, a practice which can serve to conceal important contextual differences in law enforcement across small geographic areas. By contrast, where traffic-stop data permitted, the WSU researchers presented analyses from WSP's 40 autonomous patrol areas.

Categories: Sociology | Tags: Criminal justice, Race

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