‘Driving while brown’

Latino residents in Oregon are charged with failing to carry a license at rates more than eight times the rate of whites, the probability of which is “so much smaller than being struck by lightning,” said criminologist Mark G. Harmon. Their real crime? Some say it’s “driving while brown.”

LISTEN: Jim Ludwick

The Lobbyist: Jim Ludwick, founder of Oregonians for Immigration Reform, has dedicated his retirement to making Oregon a less welcoming place for undocumented immigrants. https://soundcloud.com/investigatewest/ludwick-unequal-justice

No Record on Race

Data gaps throughout Oregon make it tough to understand when and why people are stopped by police. This visualization demonstrates which police departments are collecting the information about who their officers are stopping – and which aren’t.

LISTEN: Ron Louie

The Chief: Ron Louie, retired chief of the Hillsboro Police Department, was the state’s first official to collect data about the race and ethnicity of drivers his officers stopped. Other agencies, he said, were “frightened by the scrutiny of the numbers.”

Stopping the data

Fewer than 1-in-20  law enforcement agencies in Oregon collect and report detailed data on  the people they stop. This month, legislators will begin discussions on House Bill 2355, which, among other things, would force  police to  collect “stop data.”  If the bill passes, Oregon will join 19 other states, including California, in using stop data to identify possible racial profiling by police.