The eleventh report over five years by a federal panel overseeing New Jersey’s state police found no evidence of racial profiling and praised the state for its “remarkable progress” in ending race-based traffic stops, reports the Associated Press. The latest report card means the state should press to end federal supervision, said David Jones, president of the troopers’ union. Nearly every report has cleared troopers of allegations that they targeted minorities, he said. Claims that troopers acted inappropriately were often dismissed when videotapes showed the officers followed the rules.
Under the settlement in the case, every time a trooper stops a vehicle, the entire encounter is recorded on videotape and all elements – the time, the race of the driver, the action taken by the officer – are entered into a database. State police supervisors review those records and tapes, searching for errors made by officers. Monitors review every trooper search of a driver or vehicle. Particular attention is paid to consent searches, which are examinations carried out after a driver gives permission. No constitutional violations were discovered in the consent searches, canine searches, and uses of force. Consent searches once were used extensively to combat drug trafficking. Critics contended that they were abused by police and conducted disproportionately on minorities.