Say it with statistics!

Orange County's CalPundit links to an LAT story about the LAPD's racial profiling statistics.

Lies, damned lies, and statistics. L.A. is a huge city, not just in terms of population but size as well. It can take over an hour to get from, say, Chatsworth to Harbor City, even at 4am. Both of those are in L.A. City proper, they aren't independent cities.

These statistics mix together stops of gang-bangers driving lowriders in South Central and East L.A. with stops of meth-types driving in the Valley with stops of middle-class families in West L.A.

A more honest treatment would consider not just the race of those involved, but several other factors, such as the year/make/model/condition of their car, their age and assumed socioeconomic status, how many other people there were in the car and their age and socioeconomic status, what part of the city they were in, what time of day it was, and what was the reason for the stop (weaving or no plates, or just a broken tail light).

One of the reasons I started this blog was because of a disconcerting run-in with the LAPD. I'm no apologist, but I think that when analyzing these statistics, all of the factors involved in who they decide to stop and who they decide to search have to be taken into account. It'd be good if that analysis were done from a non-PC standpoint, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

On a related note, remember CA State Sen. Kevin Murray? You know, sponsor of a "driving while black" bill (later changed to "driving while black or brown", and then later changed to "driving while being anything but a member of the white devil oppressors"). Remember how he was caught getting a BJ in his state-owned car, and that was hushed up?