A 2017 poll showed that the vast majority of black Americans in the U.S. still experience some forms of racial bias in their everyday life, but what about black cyclists? Are they treated fairly by police officers in Hollywood and elsewhere in Florida? Or do racial biases still persist in the event of a bicycle accident involving a white motorist and cyclists who are minorities?
Unfortunately, race discrimination and racial bias are still very common in Miami, Hollywood, and all across Florida, particularly when it comes to motor vehicle collisions. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians who are minorities are treated unfairly by law enforcement.
Between 55 and 75 percent traffic citations were issued to blacks
“Even in 2018, more than half a century after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, certain law enforcement agencies and police officers in Florida are still disproportionately issuing traffic citations to African-American cyclists,” says our Hollywood bicycle accident attorney from the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A.
Statistics shows that of all traffic citations issued to pedestrians and cyclists in Florida in the past five years, between 55 and 75 percent of them were handed over to blacks. This would not be a big deal if black people did not only account for less than 25 percent of the state’s population.
In the vast majority of cases, these tickets are issued in Florida’s poorest neighborhoods. Statistics also shows that on average, black residents of a Floridian city’s poorest neighborhood were six times more likely to receive a traffic citations than those living in the city’s richest neighborhoods.
So are law enforcement agencies and police racially biased?
Despite the convincing statistics regarding police officers’ apparent racial bias against black cyclists and pedestrians, law enforcement has repeatedly denied that it treated blacks unfairly or specifically targeted them to issue traffic tickets. Time and time again, law enforcement agencies in Hollywood and all across Florida argued that whenever police officers issue tickets, they are doing so to improve safety, prevent bicycle accidents and theft, among other accidents and crimes.
Unfortunately, this is not the case in 100 percent of all citations, as there is an increasing number of lawsuits filed by black pedestrians and cyclists against law enforcement agencies, accusing them of racial bias and discrimination.
Furthermore, the location of where traffic citations have been issued to black cyclists over the past five years show that blacks are NOT being targeted by law enforcement in the high-crash areas where there is an increased risk of a bicycle accident and injury. “Rather, African-Americans are targeted in the poorest neighborhoods,” explains our bicycle accident attorney in Hollywood.
What to do if you are racially discriminated by police?
Not to mention that many black cyclists who are being stopped and issued traffic citations complained that law enforcement harassed them. More disturbingly, in nearly half of all traffic citations that were issued improperly, the police officer stopped or issued a traffic citation to a black pedestrian or cyclist in Florida.
Here at the Neufeld, Kleinberg & Pinkiert, P.A., our best bicycle lawyers in Florida offer legal advice to those who have been treated by police officers unfairly. If you suspect racial bias when stopped by law enforcement or you were harassed by a police officer, do not hesitate to contact our Hollywood bicycle accident attorney. Call our offices at 305-931-6666 or 954-523-8292 or complete this contact form for a free case evaluation.