Black and Latino drivers in the predominately caucasian community of Bloomfield, New Jersey, have nearly an 80 percent chance of being pulled over and issued a traffic fine than white residents, according to a new report.
VICE News reported a study from the Seton Hall Law School Center for Policy and Research has found that most tickets issued by Bloomfield law enforcement officers to non-resident minority drivers passing through town, suggests there is a “border patrol” like policing policy within the small township.
The study examined 799 individuals that were pulled over, cited and ordered to appear in the Bloomfield Municipal Court. Of those who were included in the findings, an astonishing 78 percent were African-Americans (43%) and Latinos (35%), which is an inverse proportion to the demographics of Bloomfield of roughly 60% white 18.5% African American, and 24.5% Latino.
“The Bloomfield Police run an extremely effective border patrol that targets people of color, and they employ discriminatory traffic stops and ticketing to produce a lucrative revenue stream for the Township,” said Professor Mark P. Denbeaux, Director of the Center for Policy & Research.
African Americans and Latinos accounted for 78% of observed court appearances and those individuals were cited 7,566 times during the year of the study, according to the study findings. The average cost of $137 per citation, not counting surcharges, was the total paid by African Americans and Latinos and amounted to more than $1 million in revenue was collected for Bloomfield Municipalities.
“Our study revealed what essentially amounts to a ‘wall’ of police action erected against the Newark and East Orange border areas and their predominantly African American and Latino residents,” co-author and Seton Hall Law student Jason Castle said.
“As an African American I wasn’t shocked, but I was disheartened to see the numbers in black and white; as a law student, I was dismayed to see the law being used as a weapon against the people; and as a Councilman from nearby Teaneck, NJ, I was appalled when I researched and compiled the budget, ticket revenue and salary projections for the Township of Bloomfield. Those numbers told a story that I wished I’d never heard.”
Watch VICE’s report below: