Presented by the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, reporters Topher Sanders of ProPublica and Benjamin Conarck of the Florida Times-Union will be on hand to discuss the the ProPublica/Florida Times-Union “Walking While Black” investigative series. The discussion will be moderated by Charles Brown, senior researcher at the Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center.The event will be held on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. at the Gov. James J. Florio Special Events Forum, Civic Square Building, 33 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ.
To watch the recording of this event, click here.
The sheriff’s office in Jacksonville, Fla., issues hundreds of pedestrian citations a year, drawing on an array of 28 separate statutes governing how people get around on foot in Florida’s most populous city. The sheriff’s office says the enforcement of the full variety of pedestrian statutes is essential to keeping people alive in a city with one of the highest pedestrian fatality rates in the nation. The office also says the tickets are a useful crime-fighting tool, allowing officers to stop suspicious people and question them for guns and or drugs.
However, a ProPublica/Florida Times-Union analysis of five years of pedestrian tickets shows there is no strong relationship between where tickets are being issued and where people are being killed. The number of fatal crashes involving pedestrians, in fact, climbed every year from 2012 to 2016, the most recent years for which complete data is available.
What the analysis does show is that the pedestrian tickets — typically costing $65, but carrying the power to damage one’s credit or suspend a driver’s license if unpaid — were disproportionately issued to blacks, almost all of them in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. In the last five years, blacks received 55 percent of all pedestrian tickets in Jacksonville, while only accounting for 29 percent of the population. Blacks account for a higher percentage of tickets in Duval County than any other large county in Florida.