SAGE Journal Articles
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Abstract: Data reported by police agencies were at the core of most analyses of Driving While Black in the 1990s and 2000s. There is, however, no previous macro-level research directed exclusively at the accuracy of the Driving While Black traffic stop data reported by police agencies. This article remedies that omission by reaching back across a little more than 10 years to examine data reported by 308 Massachusetts police agencies during April and May of 2001, a time when collection of driver race and ethnicity data was still relatively new. The baseline data show that race and ethnicity missingness is nonrandom on several important dimensions. The article concludes that the Driving While Black data reported by most of the 308 Massachusetts police agencies during April and May of 2001 appear to underestimate the frequency with which police stopped Black and African American drivers for traffic law violations.