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Racial profiling report released

By Scott Harvey

Commerce – The Commerce Police Department has released its annual racial profiling report.
According to Commerce Assistant Police Chief Steve Harrison, the department did not receive a single complaint alleging racial profiling on the part of one of its officers during 2008.

The latest report covered the period between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2008, during which there were approximately 2,545 traffic stops made by officers. Of those stopped, 74.3 percent were Caucasian motorists, 19.6 percent were African American motorists, 4.1 percent were Hispanic motorists, 1.5 percent were Asian motorists, .0 percent were Native American motorists.

Approximately 67.0 percent of residents in Commerce are white/non-Hispanic, 20.8 percent Black, 7.7% Hispanic.

For the last several years, the police department has collected contact data in order to comply with the Texas Racial Profiling Law. The information tracks the numbers of self-initiated traffic stops by patrol officers and is broken down by the races of those stopped in Commerce.