Brooks: Police Should Need ‘Written Permission’ for Car Searches to Cut Down on Pretextual Stops

On Friday’s “PBS NewsHour,” New York Times columnist David Brooks said that “there is racial bias in policing” but that progress can be made with reforms like eliminating chokeholds, cutting down on pretextual stops, better data collection, and removing barriers to investigating police.

Brooks said, “Well, the first thing that needs to change is, we do need to accept that there is racial bias in policing.”

He added, “The good news is, if you do take some reforms, you can make some progress. There’s been a sharp drop in the number of shootings of unarmed people. Armed people, it’s still pretty stable, but unarmed people, we’ve made some progress. So, there are things that can be done. And those are things like removing chokeholds. Those are things like — a little idea that I kind of like is, you have to have written permission to search a car, these things called pretextual stops, where they stop a car on the pretext of one thing, when they’re really looking for something else. Data is very poorly collected. … There are these things called police officers’ bill of rights which are in a lot of state legislatures that police unions have instituted that create all these artificial barriers to investigating an incident, that a cop has to be punished within 30 or 100 days, and if it’s too late, then he’s off.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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