Have a Nice Day…Whitey!


The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on a study of Queen City police which found that cops are more polite to whites than blacks after traffic stops:

Cincinnati police officers walking away from a traffic stop of a white motorist are more likely to end on a courteous note, saying, "Have a nice day," or "Take care."

To black drivers, they're more likely to say, "You're getting off easy," or "The ticket could have been for twice this amount."

The good news?

Overall, the report found no statistical evidence of systematic racial bias by Cincinnati police and concluded that—when comparing similar neighborhoods and circumstances—black and white drivers were treated similarly.

More here.

I wrote about Cincinnati's race issues–and more–shortly after the city's 2001 riots for Suck here.

William Anderson and Gene Callahan wrote about "The Roots of Racial Profiling" for Reason here.

NEXT: Meanwhile, on the ChurlCam

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  1. Could it be the blacks are more “Militant?” And us crackers are more polite?

  2. I’ve never had a cop tell me to have nice day. Maybe cuz I’m black.

  3. “Have a nice day” is a command.

    “Take care” is an ominous command.

    “You’re getting off easy” is reassuring news.

    “The ticket could have been for twice this amount” is specifically reassuring news.

    Yup, dem’s some clea-uh discriminatins.

  4. I wonder if they cross referenced these numbers to the race of the cop? Are black cops equally polite to white and black citizens or just as surly to black citizens as white cops? I would be very curious to know.

  5. I’m a middle-aged white male and drive a very middle-class car (Toyota Camry). I’ve been stopped by cops 4-5 times throughout my years of driving, and I can’t remember any instance in which the cop was anything other than businesslike bordering on condescending/rude. If any of them said “have a nice day” or words to that effect, it certainly didn’t give the impression of a polite gesture.

  6. I’ve been stopped by cops 4-5 times throughout my years of driving..

    I haven’t been stopped in several years, but for years it was 4-5 times a month it seemed like. At least once every weekend from age 16-21, then it scaled down after that.

  7. Umm…TWC…is that picture on your blog of you? Because if so, your mother and I have some news that we’re not sure you’re going to like….

  8. I certainly believe there is racism when cops pull over black people.

    For one, while I am not black, I have personal experience with race and age bigotry. When I was young, and drove a junky car, I was constantly pulled over (although I never recieved a ticket because I didn’t do anything). As I got older and my cars became newer, I got tickets less and less. Now I never get tickets, except for maybe parking tickets.

    If age and class bigotry are universal for cops, why not racism?

  9. Timothy,

    I’m a throwback, like El Jeronimo’s blond haired little sister. Recessive genes and all that.

    Wait, oh, that photo, that guy isn’t me, just a marketing strategy to make certain people comfortable.

    Does it count if my doctor is black?

  10. A few years ago, I was pulled over by a cop. Her badge number was 36-24-36 and she taught me some new moves with her night stick. . . .

  11. With junky cars, the cops are just following the standard bureaucratic rules. Which is something to the effect of, if the driver looks like he/she retains a lawyer, it’s going to be harder to get the ticket to stick. So go for the easy money.

    I’ve been driving a minivan now for five years, and I haven’t been pulled over once.

  12. Rex, I concur that age and class are factors. People at the margins and young smart ass types are most at risk. There is bound to be spillover into race and ethnicity as well.

    Ellipsis, I never get stopped anymore and I don’t drive particularly different than I ever have–except I’ve abandoned the doctrinaire attitude that Yellow means haul ass, which means less risk and less tickets I suppose. But really, it’s just because I appear non-threatening. Or maybe just old.

  13. When I was a young hothead, the only car I had constant access to was a cream-colored volvo station wagon.
    I guarantee that I would have received twice as many tickets if I had been driving anything else.
    Not that I am saying that there isn’t racism there, I’m sure there is, but vehicleism is yet another confounding variable.

  14. “With junky cars, the cops are just following the standard bureaucratic rules. Which is something to the effect of, if the driver looks like he/she retains a lawyer, it’s going to be harder to get the ticket to stick. So go for the easy money.”

    Don’t forget the attractive woman factor. Seems like the attractive women I know get pulled over more often than I do yet almost never get tickets, assuming the cop never sees their wedding ring.

  15. Two days ago I got stopped in Wyoming for going five miles over the speed limit. No ticket; I think he was disappointed I was wearing my seatbelt. He seemed fairly polite.

    A couple of weeks earlier, in Wells, Nevada, a cop followed me into town, waited for the speed limit to change, then pulled me over for speeding. No ticket; I think he was disappointed I wasn’t drunk. He was argumentative with me when I said I didn’t keep my registration in my car because Minnesota cops never ask for it, but let it pass.

    Last summer I got pulled over by a city cop for driving five miles over. No ticket; he was looking for drunks, too. But he did cite me for failing to keep proof of insurance in my car and I had to spend a morning going down to the courthouse and proving I was insured.

    Last spring I got hassled by the US Forest Service. I was hiking in a park near San Jose and the trail went near some private houses. One of the biddies that lived up there called the Forest Service and told them she saw a suspicious person walking by her house. There’s dozens of trails: they actually had to send out six people and three vehicles and they only stumbled on my by accident as I was walking out. The first person to stop was an older fellow who actually engaged me in polite conversation about the trail and hiking generally. For a moment I was actually unaware that I was being interrogated. That illusion was shattered when the younger fellow came up and asked to see my ID. Mind you, I was on a marked trail. The older guy, realizing there was nothing suspicious about me or my clothes or anything, looked embarrassed. The younger guy looked like the sort who would start shouting “9/11” every time someone appealed to reason.

    All that in the last year. Four times a year is about average for me. For the record, I’m white, 38, drive a late-model car, don’t drink, and have no criminal record.

  16. vehiclism True, my old man had a 1953 red chevy convertible that he used to call a cop magnet. The day he sold it was the day he stopped getting tickets. And my old man drove like a grandma, even when he was a kid.

  17. attractive women When Mrs TWC was 18 she got stopped while wearing a skimpy bathing suit for making a U turn in a parking lot. Yeah, that’s why he stopped her. She had been at the beach and was about forty miles from home. The cop asked her why she was so far from home. Her snappy answer? Do I need a note from my mom? No ticket. Even with the wedding ring.

    James, it was the out of state plates. My Grandfather was from Mn and every time he got stopped by a cop in Ca he’d just grin and tell the cop where I come from it’s every man for himself. It seemed to work pretty well.

  18. I certainly believe there is racism when cops pull over black people.

    For one, while I am not black, I…

    I have to ask, what about the times while you are black?

  19. Most cops suck.

    How much Protecting and Serving really happens?

    And I fell some much fucking safer now that every time a cop goes by they have the operation athority to peer and lear into every vichicle to make sure we are wearing seatbelts.

    Seatbelt laws are NOTHING but operational authority to invade everyones privacy, while using the guise of “protecting the public”


  20. I am sorry folks. I live in a near police state (Juneau Alaska) and at times I can be hard to maintain my calm…

    Ment to say “And I feel so much…”

    Oops. Everything I hate in life can be narrowed down to some type of intellectual laziness.

    dont wanna work hard (parenting) at keeping your spawn off drugs? Have the government make a law, and do your fucking job for you. And criminalize everyone. Every fucking parent that has ever said “its for the kids” is a lazy fuck that has fucked it for everyone else.

    Everything that sucks comes from someone’s laziness.

  21. correlations between the national crime victimization survey (which identifies criminal suspects by interviewing victims of crimes and keeps tabs on the demographics – race, gender, age, etc.) and the rate at which police stop people are almost exactly perfect

    iow, cops stop youths more than older people, blacks more than whites, men more than women, etc.

    iow, the chance of person X being stopped by the cops is closely correlated to the relative difference in criminal acts by that group.

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