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Searching minorities more often

Most police departments in Massachusetts report searching minorities more often than whites, as a share of people receiving traffic tickets. Departments are ranked here by that disparity. A disparity of 1 reflects an equal distribution of minorities among the ticketed and the searched.

Note: Includes only departments that searched at least 10 minority drivers.

Source: Boston Globe analysis of all traffic tickets in Massachusetts, April 2001 through November 2002.

Rank Police department Minority search rate White search rate Disparity Minority_tickets Minority_searches White_tickets White_searches
1 Wilbraham 6.5% 1.4% 4.7 155 10 1,251 17
2 Wilmington 4.4% 1.0% 4.5 273 12 2,433 24
3 Chelsea 0.9% 0.3% 3.3 1,526 14 2,860 8
4 Newton 1.9% 0.6% 2.9 584 11 4,062 26
5 Amesbury 9.8% 3.4% 2.9 173 17 2,270 77
6 Cambridge 2.3% 0.8% 2.9 1,843 43 3,667 30
7 Fall River 2.1% 0.7% 2.8 870 18 8,980 67
8 Salem 1.3% 0.5% 2.7 910 12 2,702 13
9 Springfield 1.6% 0.6% 2.7 6,674 109 6,501 40
10 Canton 4.5% 1.7% 2.6 289 13 1,403 24
11 Wareham 6.0% 2.3% 2.6 215 13 1,375 32
12 Fitchburg 2.3% 0.9% 2.5 660 15 1,337 12
13 Barnstable 4.4% 1.8% 2.5 587 26 4,546 80
14 Worcester 1.2% 0.5% 2.5 3,070 38 7,704 38
15 Brookline 1.7% 0.7% 2.3 2,128 36 5,556 40
16 Southborough 6.2% 2.7% 2.3 195 12 668 18
17 Northampton 5.6% 2.6% 2.2 249 14 1,993 51
18 Everett 1.3% 0.6% 2.1 1,459 19 3,903 24
19 Haverhill 6.6% 3.2% 2.1 424 28 2,121 68
20 North Adams 21.1% 10.8% 2.0 71 15 739 80
21 Boston 1.1% 0.6% 1.8 33,900 358 31,359 180
22 New Bedford 8.0% 4.4% 1.8 1,094 87 3,368 147
23 Tewksbury 16.6% 9.3% 1.8 187 31 1,385 129
24 State Police 2.5% 1.4% 1.8 47,870 1,182 176,056 2,459
25 Attleboro 1.9% 1.1% 1.7 528 10 3,805 42
26 Lowell 1.7% 1.0% 1.7 2,270 39 3,453 35
27 Chicopee 2.5% 1.5% 1.6 766 19 2,775 42
28 Brockton 4.9% 3.0% 1.6 3,744 184 5,130 155
29 Woburn 1.8% 1.1% 1.6 626 11 4,524 51
30 Holyoke 3.9% 2.8% 1.4 1,081 42 2,113 59
31 Lynn 1.2% 0.9% 1.4 4,211 51 6,125 54
32 West Bridgewater 5.4% 4.1% 1.3 389 21 1,649 67
33 Waltham 1.1% 0.8% 1.3 1,013 11 3,151 26
34 Peabody 1.4% 1.2% 1.2 1,088 15 4,306 50
35 Malden 2.9% 2.5% 1.2 442 13 1,463 37
36 Leicester 9.9% 8.5% 1.2 213 21 1,002 85
37 Hingham 7.3% 6.4% 1.1 137 10 1,365 88
38 Framingham 1.3% 1.2% 1.1 1,076 14 2,692 31
39 Braintree 4.2% 3.8% 1.1 311 13 1,847 70
40 Medford 2.0% 1.9% 1.1 592 12 2,209 42
41 Revere 1.5% 1.5% 1.0 875 13 1,983 29
42 Somerville 1.2% 1.2% 1.0 1,134 14 2,671 33
43 Lawrence 2.0% 2.1% 1.0 5,166 104 2,216 46
44 Randolph 1.3% 1.4% 0.9 996 13 1,303 18
45 Shrewsbury 1.4% 1.5% 0.9 773 11 2,586 40
46 Quincy 3.1% 3.5% 0.9 453 14 1,423 50
47 Methuen 4.4% 5.2% 0.8 996 44 1,280 67
48 Andover 1.4% 2.0% 0.7 832 12 2,435 48
  Statewide total 2.1% 1.6% 1.3 166,429 3,434 568,935 8,864

Note: Includes only departments that searched at least 10 minority drivers.

Source: Boston Globe analysis of all traffic tickets in Massachusetts, April 2001 through November 2002.

Boston Globe/Bill Dedman, dedman@globe.com


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