Archive for Friday, January 29, 2010

Lawrence police cite clerical errors as reason for both complaints of racial profiling in 2009

Lawrence police blame clerical errors on two complaints of race-based traffic stops reported to the agency in 2009, according to public reports released by the agency.

January 29, 2010


Allegations by year

Racial profiling complaints reported to Lawrence police:

2006 - 1

2007 - 1

2008 - 0

2009 - 2

Related document

Annual Racial Profiling Complaint Report ( .PDF )

Lawrence police blame clerical errors on two complaints of race-based traffic stops reported to the agency in 2009, according to public reports released by the agency.

In both racial profiling reports filed last year, a driver was pulled over for driving with an expired license plate when it was actually valid.

“In both instances … in the computer system, it showed expired but it was later determined, through contacting the treasurer’s office, that it was not expired,” said Sgt. Bill Cory, Lawrence police spokesman.

Both drivers accused officers of being racist, complaints police administrators determined were unfounded.

In the first case, reported at the beginning of 2009, the officer said the driver was pulled over as a courtesy and “no enforcement action was anticipated,” according to the report. In the other case, reported in August, police said the officer could not have known the race of the driver before pulling the driver over.

Cory, who assists in investigating racial profiling complaints for Lawrence police, said it’s common for officers to run license plates through their computer system while they’re on patrol, to ensure they’re legitimate.

Douglas County treasurer Paula Gilchrist said the information in the state treasurer’s computer system was likely incorrect, because there’s sometimes a delay — as much as six weeks in some cases — between when someone updates their vehicle registration in the county treasurer’s office and when it shows up in the state database.

Gilchrist said a new Web-based system the state plans to implement next year will provide updates that will make the registration information law enforcement has access to more timely and accurate.

“That information should be updated real-time, so we’re excited about that,” Gilchrist said.

Cory said all complaints of racial profiling made to Lawrence police are investigated thoroughly and then sent to the department’s citizen review board, which was established after a 2005 state law required Kansas law enforcement agencies to file annual reports of complaints stemming from officers pulling someone over because of their race.

During the last four years, Lawrence police have received four racial profiling complaints, all of which were determined to be unfounded.

“It’s a practice we don’t tolerate in this department,” Cory said.


lawrence_citizen 8 years, 1 month ago

Racial profiling is alive and well in Lawrence. I was pulled over because I'm white. He said it was because I was doing 47 in a 30 and ran a stop sign, but I know better.

Sunny Parker 8 years, 1 month ago

and they can't find jobs because of it either!

Randall Barnes 8 years, 1 month ago


equalaccessprivacy 8 years, 1 month ago

I experience Lawrence as a scarily narrow-minded, bigoted place where complete strangers aggressively regard and treat others according to offensive,one-dimensional stereotypes. If a conflict arises due to such treatment the copslikely will likely take the harasser's side. It's illegal not to investigate complaints of discriminatory harassment under color of law,, but KU cops don't bother.No need to I guess with that hillbully, whitebutt KU legal counsel they have up there.

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 1 month ago

yea sure blame the computer ....... some lawrence police have a racial issue this has been going on for a long time now.

Alexander Neighbors 8 years, 1 month ago

lawrence needs a citizens police review board made up of community members. then I am sure these "clerical errors" wont happen anymore

lawthing 8 years, 1 month ago

So the white people get arrested on clerical errors or is it just reserved for the black people?

lawthing 8 years, 1 month ago

the complaints download looks likes it came from the Lawrence Police. So who investigated the complaint?

The same cop the complaint was against?

lawthing 8 years, 1 month ago

Rapper music big rims and a blonde in the car will guaruntee a clerical error everytime!

yankeevet 8 years, 1 month ago

I was pulled over also on Iowa cause I be white.............sure thats it.......or could it be i was speeding 50 in a 40; and the officer was correct and very professional...........Lawrence police are just doing their job and are very professional; courteious; etc...........

PLKaws23 8 years, 1 month ago

Ok so i didnt watch the video, and maybe i just over looked it in the article, but why is this racial profiling case being chalked up as a white cop with black victims? And believe it or not, there sometimes is a delay with updating the registration on a vehicle. A delay that works both ways.

4rmSouthern2Midwest 8 years, 1 month ago

All I know is I'm african american and I'm in the enough of the lame talk pertaining to not having jobs. Understand this when u live in a small town such as Lawrence, thinking outside the box is a difficult task for some. When I lived in Lawrence, hell all races where suffering financially so stop making it seem as if african americans are the only race on the unemployment list. Where I'm from (N. Texas) all races are flourishing!!! When you judge races according to what you've seen in Lawrence I find that rediculous. For the record let me sum up Lawrence a small city full of drugs, liquor stores on every corner, a bunch of wanna be gangsters, and a HIV rate that's rising fast!!! Oh yeah I can't 4get the over priced I paid $172,000 for a 5bdrm 3 bth 4,200 sq ft. here in Grand Prairie, Tx. look at the crap in Lawrence and they want double or even triple.

Werner Enterprises....home of some great drivers....KEEP ON TRUCKING!!!

Maddy Griffin 8 years, 1 month ago

Great post Smitty! Very enlightening! I didn't realize this stuff went on in these"post-racial times". lol

mropinion 8 years, 1 month ago


Joe Hyde 8 years, 1 month ago

The key part of this story is that the state will soon be implementing a web-based system that allows treasurer's offices in all Kansas counties to input vehicle registration information electronically. Once this system becomes operational all new vehicle registrations, registration transfers, lost and stolen tags, etc. will be available instantly on a statewide/nationwide computer access database to patrol officers everywhere. The result will be a dramatic improvement in the "accuracy" of traffic stops, in terms of officers having the latest information available relevant to who is supposed to be driving that vehicle.

It should not be overlooked that the seemingly humble clerk we deal with at our local county treasurers office is a person who is as vital to law enforcement as the best-trained and best-intentioned police officer. So much of law enforcement work revolves around vehicle stops and verifying the legitimacy of persons operating and occupying vehicles. County treasurers office clerks toil daily, unsung in an occupation that is critical to law enforcement. These people are center-tread occupants "where the rubber meets the road".

Once the registration entry work these clerks do starts being entered daily into a real-time database accessible by authorized personnel, we will all be safer and much better served by law enforcement.

Liberty275 8 years, 1 month ago

racist computers! They still have masters and slaves! It's proof!!!

Liberty275 8 years, 1 month ago

"As recently as the 1960s blacks"

Ummm, don't you mean African Americans?

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