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Now You See Me, Now You Don't: The Geography of Police Stops

This paper uses state police stop data in Texas to assess patrol activity. We find that both the types of stops and the allocation of resources over space change in darkness relative to daylight, and that the changes in stop type and manpower allocation are correlated within police officers. We also find that the counties receiving more police resources in darkness have a higher share of minority residents. Veil of Darkness (VOD) tests of racial discrimination in traffic stops require that the distribution of motorists be independent of darkness, which is unlikely to be the case without detailed geographic controls.

Jesse Kalinowski, Quinnipiac University
Matthew Ross, Wagner School of Public Service, New York University
Stephen L. Ross, University of Connecticut
Publication Date: 
December, 2018
Publication Status: 
Document Number: 
File Description: 
First version, December, 2018