At the bi-monthly Anna City Council meeting, the Anna Police Department presented the annual racial profiling report. Anna Interim Police Chief Jeff Caponera said the report is required.
“The racial profiling report is a state mandated report that every law enforcement agency that conducts traffic enforcement activities in Texas is required to complete every year,” said Caponera. “It is available to the public via the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement website.”
Caponera said the report is useful in more ways than one. “The report is used by agencies to ensure officers are not racially biased when making traffic stops,” Caponera said. “It’s a good report that we as administrators can use to ensure officers are not singling out persons from a specific racial or ethnic background.”
Even though Sergeant Chad Butler presented the findings because Caponera was down with the flu, the report was Caponera’s findings. Caponera said he used data from the government census website to be sure his report was accurate.
“According to the American Fact Finder, the five-year community survey estimate put Anna’s population at 10.335 in 2015,” Caponera said. “This data is what I used to determine the following percentages.”
The annual report shows the percentages of ethnic groups in Anna. There is 74% Caucasian, 6% African American, 18% Hispanic, 1% Asian and 1% all other.
Out of 599 stops, the Racial Profiling data shows 63% of the stops Caucasian, 17% African American, 18% Hispanic, 1.5% Asian and .5% all other.
“In 79 of the 599 stops, being 13%, the officers knew the race of the violator prior to the stop,” the report states. “This may be because the race of the violator was provided by dispatch, or a witness/victim, or because the officer saw into he vehicle as it passed by them prior to the stop.
“Of the total 2,559 citations and warnings issued for all offenses, traffic and criminal, 1,919 of those were issued to non-residents,” the report continues. “Meaning, 75% of all citations and warnings issued were issued to people who did not live in Anna.”
Caponera said this report shows Anna’s numbers are good. “Note in our report that the traffic stop demographics match that of the city, and the percentages are right where they should be based on our population demographic,” he said. “This has been the case every year in Anna.”