#### Tau

• Zetetic Council Member
• 911
• Magistrum Fallaciae
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2014, 12:30:01 AM »
Thus, the arrest rate is a little irrelevant.
There are twice as many arrests, and twice as many searches. The vast majority of the searches (>70%) is incident to arrests. If you double the amount of searches, assuming no other factors change, you raise the amount of searches to 170% of what it was before - that alone explains almost all of the discrepancy. The math here is really simple, and it really helps.

Please read the rest of my post. I hit submit before I was finished writing and had to edit. I agree with you on the searches, but it doesn't explain the stops.
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

#### juner

• Planar Moderator
• 10076
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2014, 12:54:09 AM »
In the event anyone is interested in the evidence:

#### Pete Svarrior

• e
• Planar Moderator
• 15936
• (◕˽ ◕ ✿)
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2014, 12:55:13 AM »
Okay, I'm glad that we agree on the searches. I realise I'm beating a dead horse, but I realised something interesting: The search rate is not actually twice as high. It's 1.77 times as high. Compare and contrast with my 170% prediction. So that's searches not just mostly explained, but completely explained.

Okay, let's think about stops. Do you not find it strange that a supposedly racist police force is found to be extremely racist against black people, but not at all racist against any other ethnicity? Look at the disparity indices. They're pretty much identical all across the board - except for blacks.

Now, let's look at the data. Where does the disparity come from?

Moving - We would expect twice as many black stops than white stops, we see four times the number. Part (or all) of that could be attributed to DWB. It could also be that Ferguson's black drivers are just statistically more likely to commit traffic offences. It could make sense, since American whites are generally richer, and are thus somewhat less likely to engage in certain risky behaviours. That said, we don't have enough data to tell for sure.
Equipment violations - A much clearer offence, it would be rather difficult to unjustly do someone for equipment faults that aren't there. And we see a huge disparity between the numbers (blacks stopped 12 times as often as whites! Again, we'd expect around 2 times assuming all factors were equal). In other words, black people maintain their cars worse.
License - That's the bit where we pull them over because we ran their licence plate. Again, a disparity of about 12 times as many black stops. As you pointed out yourself, this is extremely unlikely to be affected by race, since they're pre-determined.
Investigative - This one is iffy. It could be very much down to prejudice, since it's difficult to formally establish "reasonable suspicion". And we do see a high disparity - again, about 12 times as many blacks stopped than whites. This could be significant, if not for the fact that this only amounts to 328 out of 4632 stops (7% of all stops) on blacks.

To summarise: The areas where most of the discrepancy comes from are equipment violations and license look-ups - things which aren't attributable to the person driving the vehicle at all. Most of the discrepancy, by far, comes from number plate searches and shitty equipment.

I'll be honest with you: I'm really struggling to see this supposedly statistically provable bias and oppression. It seems that one demographic provides more reasons to justify stops than the other, and is thus stopped more often.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 01:41:03 AM by pizaaplanet »

If we are not speculating then we must assume

#### markjo

• 7554
• Zetetic Council runner-up
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2014, 04:22:00 AM »
You're really quoting World Nut Daily, markjo?  Ugh.
I'm sorry, but are you saying that WND got it wrong and there was no shooting?  ??

Anyway, white people do not have a long history of being racially discriminated against by black police officers, so that's a weak attempt to create an equivalency where there is none.
Which was pretty much the point.  White cop shoots unarmed black guy? Riots.  Black cop shoots unarmed white guy?  Barely a peep.  Anytime a cop shoots an unarmed person should be a big deal, regardless of race, creed or sexual orientation of either party.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 04:23:32 AM by markjo »
Abandon hope all ye who press enter here.

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge. -- Charles Darwin

If you can't demonstrate it, then you shouldn't believe it.

#### Tau

• Zetetic Council Member
• 911
• Magistrum Fallaciae
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2014, 04:30:42 AM »
Okay, I'm glad that we agree on the searches. I realise I'm beating a dead horse, but I realised something interesting: The search rate is not actually twice as high. It's 1.77 times as high. Compare and contrast with my 170% prediction. So that's searches not just mostly explained, but completely explained.

Okay, let's think about stops. Do you not find it strange that a supposedly racist police force is found to be extremely racist against black people, but not at all racist against any other ethnicity? Look at the disparity indices. They're pretty much identical all across the board - except for blacks.

Doesn't seem that odd to me. I'm not aware of the KKK lynching any asians, either (although I could be wrong)

Quote

Now, let's look at the data. Where does the disparity come from?

Moving - We would expect twice as many black stops than white stops, we see four times the number. Part (or all) of that could be attributed to DWB. It could also be that Ferguson's black drivers are just statistically more likely to commit traffic offences. It could make sense, since American whites are generally richer, and are thus somewhat less likely to engage in certain risky behaviours. That said, we don't have enough data to tell for sure.

I could imagine black residents of Ferguson being 20% more likely to commit traffic offences, or even 45%, but 400%? That's stretching my imagination. And I know that's an argument to personal credulity, but I also think it's a reasonable one. I'd need to see some fairly solid evidence before I believed it.

Quote
Equipment violations - A much clearer offence, it would be rather difficult to unjustly do someone for equipment faults that aren't there. And we see a huge disparity between the numbers (blacks stopped 12 times as often as whites! Again, we'd expect around 2 times assuming all factors were equal). In other words, black people maintain their cars worse.

I actually got the opposite reaction from the amount of equipment violations. The cliche racist cop in Georgia pulling someone over for being black says that his lights are out. It just struck me as stereotypical.

Quote
License - That's the bit where we pull them over because we ran their licence plate. Again, a disparity of about 12 times as many black stops. As you pointed out yourself, this is extremely unlikely to be affected by race, since they're pre-determined.

Agreed. Although, 12 times is a lot more than 2 times. I wonder where the disparity lies. I doubt the answer involves racism at all, but I'm definitely curious.

Quote
Investigative - This one is iffy. It could be very much down to prejudice, since it's difficult to formally establish "reasonable suspicion". And we do see a high disparity - again, about 12 times as many blacks stopped than whites. This could be significant, if not for the fact that this only amounts to 328 out of 4632 stops (7% of all stops) on blacks.

Regardless of the overall number, I'm not sure you can just wave away a 1200% disparity like that. What could possibly explain such a difference? It's not like black drivers are 12X as likely to be found driving drunk, at least according to the statistics.

Quote
To summarise: The areas where most of the discrepancy comes from are equipment violations and license look-ups - things which aren't attributable to the person driving the vehicle at all. Most of the discrepancy, by far, comes from number plate searches and shitty equipment.

I'll be honest with you: I'm really struggling to see this supposedly statistically provable bias and oppression. It seems that one demographic provides more reasons to justify stops than the other, and is thus stopped more often.

I've already disputed quite a lot of that, but let's go a step further. What are the warrants for?

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/28/1325453/-In-2013-Ferguson-gave-out-10-000-more-arrest-warrants-than-people-in-Ferguson

I know it's not an amazing source, but I trust you won't dispute the raw information

We're talking about a city whose second largest source of funds is fines, which also has an above-average poverty rate and a disproportionate amount of blacks among the poor section of the population. Even if the officers weren't racist (and neither they nor you have done a great job of demonstrating otherwise), the system certainly is. They give out fines for everything, and if you can't pay the fines you get a warrant for your arrest. Guess who's more likely to be unable to pay the fines? Black people! Regardless of what you think of the officers, you have to admit that this is kinda fucked up.

Here's a source from Huffington Post, which claims that fines are more common among black residents than white residents. I couldn't find any actual numbers
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/19/racial-disparity-ferguson-arrest_n_6187320.html

_______

So, going back to the 4 categories of stops. All of them disproportionately affect black people. 2 of them are difficult, at best, to explain without using the word 'racism'. One of them also suggests racism. The last is the result of unpayable fines, which are themselves likely tied to racism. Are you telling me that isn't suspicious at all to you?
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

#### Lord Dave

• 7449
• Grumpy old man.
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2014, 04:50:18 AM »
Know what else affects these statistics?  Attitude.

Anyone here get just "a warning"?  Think that's in the official log?  Especially if the officer should have given you a fine?  I doubt it.
Now, how do you best get out of a violation (speeding ticket perhaps)?  By being nice.  So what happens if you tell the cop " Why the fuck you pull'n me over cracker?" Do you think you'll get a warning or the ticket?

Blacks in St. Louis find the police force undeserving of respect for whatever reason.  Maybe it is racism, maybe its not.  But I'm sure we can all agree that if you disrespect the authority, you're not gonna get just a warning.
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

#### Tau

• Zetetic Council Member
• 911
• Magistrum Fallaciae
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2014, 05:00:37 AM »
Know what else affects these statistics?  Attitude.

Anyone here get just "a warning"?  Think that's in the official log?  Especially if the officer should have given you a fine?  I doubt it.
Now, how do you best get out of a violation (speeding ticket perhaps)?  By being nice.  So what happens if you tell the cop " Why the fuck you pull'n me over cracker?" Do you think you'll get a warning or the ticket?

Blacks in St. Louis find the police force undeserving of respect for whatever reason.  Maybe it is racism, maybe its not.  But I'm sure we can all agree that if you disrespect the authority, you're not gonna get just a warning.

I'm fairly certain that doesn't have much impact on getting pulled over in the first place, which is what we're talking about
That's how far the horizon is, not how far you can see.

#### Blanko

• 2471
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #47 on: November 26, 2014, 05:36:06 AM »
You're really quoting World Nut Daily, markjo?  Ugh.

Anyway, white people do not have a long history of being racially discriminated against by black police officers, so that's a weak attempt to create an equivalency where there is none.

Holy shit, get a fucking tumblr already

#### DuckDodgers

• 474
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #48 on: November 26, 2014, 05:42:18 AM »
To add an anecdote regarding moving violations.  I drive through a predominately black portion of Nashville on my commute and the drivers in this area are atrocious compared to the drivers in any other part of my commute.  I would not be surprised if moving violation rates were 400% higher in that area of Nashville when compared to another random section of the city.

#### Particle Person

• Planar Moderator
• 2986
• born 2 b b&
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #49 on: November 26, 2014, 05:44:12 AM »
I drive through a predominately black portion of Nashville on my commute

Hey, me too! Let's get married!

#### rooster

• 4133
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #50 on: November 26, 2014, 11:26:42 AM »
In Nashville you can pretty accurately predict a black person by the way they drive. It's a bit ridiculous really.

#### Lord Dave

• 7449
• Grumpy old man.
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #51 on: November 26, 2014, 01:02:20 PM »
Know what else affects these statistics?  Attitude.

Anyone here get just "a warning"?  Think that's in the official log?  Especially if the officer should have given you a fine?  I doubt it.
Now, how do you best get out of a violation (speeding ticket perhaps)?  By being nice.  So what happens if you tell the cop " Why the fuck you pull'n me over cracker?" Do you think you'll get a warning or the ticket?

Blacks in St. Louis find the police force undeserving of respect for whatever reason.  Maybe it is racism, maybe its not.  But I'm sure we can all agree that if you disrespect the authority, you're not gonna get just a warning.

I'm fairly certain that doesn't have much impact on getting pulled over in the first place, which is what we're talking about
No, but it may account for recorded pull overs/stops rather than unofficial ones.  If an officer pulls someone over for speeding but doesn't give them a ticket, is that in your data?

Also, shouldn't there be more blacks pulled over than whites by default since whites only account for like 30% of the population?
http://www.city-data.com/city/Ferguson-Missouri.html

Also:
http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/aug/17/andrea-mitchell/ferguson-police-department-has-50-white-officers-t/

I'm not surprised at most of the police force is white if the black community is anti-police.  Why join the thing you hate?
And since it's not an uncommon statistic (the 75% national average) I'm on the fence about calling it racism.  Hell, looking at the educational level of the area, I'm not even sure the black community could muster enough qualified applicants.

And apparently it's not an uncommon problem:
http://stlouis.cbslocal.com/2014/09/14/achieving-diversity-among-police-ranks-not-easy/

Hey, anyone know the opinion of the three black guys on the force?  You know, the guys who work with the white "racist" officers?
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

#### Pete Svarrior

• e
• Planar Moderator
• 15936
• (◕˽ ◕ ✿)
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #52 on: November 26, 2014, 01:24:43 PM »
[Moving] I could imagine black residents of Ferguson being 20% more likely to commit traffic offences, or even 45%, but 400%? That's stretching my imagination. And I know that's an argument to personal credulity, but I also think it's a reasonable one. I'd need to see some fairly solid evidence before I believed it.
It makes perfect sense. Poor people are overall more reckless. Therefore, a demographic that has more poor people will have more bad drivers. Also, you're looking at 200% as likely, not 400%. You'd expect twice as many stops because there are twice as many black people. 4/2=2.

Also, you require to see some solid evidence that they committed more traffic offences. I don't know how you want to source that evidence if a police document that outright states that is not good enough. Meanwhile, you do not cry for "solid evidence before you believe it" to shove everything under the rug of "big bad white man is racist!" With this sort of double standard, we'll never be able to have a constructive discussion.

Doesn't seem that odd to me. I'm not aware of the KKK lynching any asians, either (although I could be wrong)
Right, you need to pick a story and stick to it. Either you're accusing Ferguson police of discriminating against non-whites (or just blacks), or you're accusing them of being a secret society that actively lynches blacks. If you're in the latter camp - frankly, I don't know what to say. I had assumed we're talking about the former.

If you are talking about the former, I would be very surprised if Hispanics were somehow off the hook from the big bad white racist man.

[Investigative] Regardless of the overall number, I'm not sure you can just wave away a 1200% disparity like that. What could possibly explain such a difference? It's not like black drivers are 12X as likely to be found driving drunk, at least according to the statistics.
I'm not waving it away. It's quite possible that about 5% of all stops were caused by racism. In a town as small as Ferguson, this would require a few individuals to have racist tendencies. I am by no means not disputing that racist people exist. I am, however, dismissing as absolutely ludicrous any notions of this being a widespread or commonplace phenomenon in that town.

[Equipment] I actually got the opposite reaction from the amount of equipment violations. The cliche racist cop in Georgia pulling someone over for being black says that his lights are out. It just struck me as stereotypical.
The only way you can be stopped for an equipment violation is if you're committing an equipment violation. Unless you have some data to prove that white people in Ferguson are just as likely to commit those but are let off the hook, I don't see how this could be racist. Again, the simple fact that the poor people of Ferguson are mostly black seems to fit in much better here. Not because it's stereotypical, but because car maintenance costs money, and a notable characteristic of being poor is not having much money.

I've already disputed quite a lot of that, but let's go a step further. What are the warrants for?

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/28/1325453/-In-2013-Ferguson-gave-out-10-000-more-arrest-warrants-than-people-in-Ferguson

I know it's not an amazing source, but I trust you won't dispute the raw information
You're talking about a community that just torched up their own town.

(Sure, the recent riot is more violent than previous ones, but we've had three of those in half a year now)

You're talking about a community that causes traffic accidents and then claims that those only happen because someone crossed a red light.

You're talking about a community that destroys itself, and then blames others for its poor state. Does it seem suspicious to me that these sort of people would overall disrespect the law? Gee, I wonder.

We're talking about a city whose second largest source of funds is fines, which also has an above-average poverty rate and a disproportionate amount of blacks among the poor section of the population [...]
Earlier this year, in the series Guilty and Charged, NPR's investigations unit found that the practices in Ferguson are common across the country.
Oh, okay, so you dislike how your courts work. No worries, just don't call it racism when it isn't that.

Even if the officers weren't racist (and neither they nor you have done a great job of demonstrating otherwise)
Yes, I also haven't demonstrated that God™ doesn't exist. Please repent immediately or He™ shall smite you.

You see, it is not my job to prove that there isn't a big bad white man conspiracy out there to kill all blacks in Ferguson. It's your job to show that it is there. So far you showed me data which doesn't show anything unusual going on and branded it as "oh I dunno it looks racist to me". No one gives a fuck if things look stereotypical to you. Either there is a
statistically provable, systematic racism in Ferguson, and many other similar places in America
(in which case I await evidence), or it is not statistically provable, in which case it's an unfalsifiable hypothesis. In my epistemic system, which is largely based on pragmatism, unfalsifiable hypotheses are not useful, because they do not lead to any useful conclusions about the world that surrounds us. So, if the systematic racism in Ferguson is invisible and functionally ineffective, it may as well not be there.

the system certainly is. They give out fines for everything, and if you can't pay the fines you get a warrant for your arrest. [...] Regardless of what you think of the officers, you have to admit that this is kinda fucked up.
Of course. I'm absolutely not suggesting that Ferguson or the USA at large doesn't have any problems with its legal system. We are specifically discussing systematic/institutional racism, or lack thereof.

Guess who's more likely to be unable to pay the fines? Black people!
Please re-read my statements about equality of outcome vs equality of opportunity. The fact that black people are statistically poorer has no bearing on this discussion.

Here's a source from Huffington Post [...]
The Huffington Post is not a source I'm going to waste my time with. HuffPo is a content aggregator of comparable credibility to Buzzfeed.

I could quickly knock together a website, name it the Pizaa Gazzette, and claim that America is a post-racial utopia. It'd be just as relevant to this conversation as your "source".

So, going back to the 4 categories of stops. All of them disproportionately affect black people. 2 of them are difficult, at best, to explain without using the word 'racism'.
Yes, the two smallest ones. Like I said, I'm sure that several racist individuals exist in the police force. That in no way proves any systematic racism.

One of them also suggests racism.
No, you're just seeing what you want to see, and for some reason you appear to be convinced that I need to disprove your unfalsifiable hypothesis.

The last is the result of unpayable fines, which are themselves likely tied to racism.
We are discussing institutional/systematic racism. This means differences in equality of opportunity, not outcome. If you want to cry about the fact that many black people are poor, take it up with someone else.

Are you telling me that isn't suspicious at all to you?
I don't know what I could possibly be suspicious of. All of your points are easily explained without invoking a big bad racist white man conspiracy. Historical factors, education, economic disparity, attitude, and crime statistics simply fit reality better.

If we are not speculating then we must assume

#### spoon

• 1134
• Foxy wins
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2014, 05:55:10 PM »
This discussion is extremely refreshing to read.

My campus is full of "open-minded, politically and communally engaged, socially aware" students, but every conversation I have had on this matter goes the same way. They go on and on about racism and completely sensationalize the event, sometimes making things up. I offer information that may help the cop's case, and then I get evil glares from everybody in the room. It's a big fucking circlejerk of exaggeration, misinformation, and plain ignorance.

The last person I had this conversation with was the girl I am into. She probably thinks I'm racist now :/
inb4 Blanko spoons a literally pizza

#### Rushy

• Planar Moderator
• 8508
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2014, 06:03:15 PM »
I think people who are extremely quick to jump to racism do so because they themselves are racist and it only makes sense to them that other people just don't have their racism under control. People tend to assume others think similar things to them but act differently.

#### Lord Dave

• 7449
• Grumpy old man.
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #55 on: November 26, 2014, 06:05:31 PM »
I think people who are extremely quick to jump to racism do so because they themselves are racist and it only makes sense to them that other people just don't have their racism under control. People tend to assume others think similar things to them but act differently.

Or they can't imagine a more complex answer(like lack of applicants due to social pressures from their peers), having never had to deal with such a situation.
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

#### Fortuna

• 2977
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #56 on: November 26, 2014, 06:28:43 PM »
Of course the best way to get justice is to burn down your own home. Brilliant people those Fergsonians.

#### Ghost of V

##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #57 on: November 26, 2014, 06:29:40 PM »
Of course the best way to get justice is to burn down your own home. Brilliant people those Fergsonians.

I liked your original post better.

#### Fortuna

• 2977
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2014, 06:34:40 PM »
Of course the best way to get justice is to burn down your own home. Brilliant people those Fergsonians.

I liked your original post better.

But then people might think I'm raciss.

#### Lord Dave

• 7449
• Grumpy old man.
##### Re: R.I.P. Ferguson
« Reply #59 on: November 26, 2014, 06:39:21 PM »
Of course the best way to get justice is to burn down your own home. Brilliant people those Fergsonians.

I liked your original post better.

But then people might think I'm raciss.
How did you edit it without the edit tag?
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.