The Harker Heights Police Department did not receive any complaints of racial bias in 2012, Chief Mike Gentry reported last week to the City Council.
“I defend the numbers in our report with pride,” Gentry said.
The racial profiling report, an annual “housekeeping” task of law enforcement agencies required by Texas law, breaks down the number of motor vehicles stopped, the race or ethnicity, whether their race or ethnicity is known prior to the stop, whether a search was conducted and if the search was consented.
In 2012, 5,288 drivers were stopped by Heights officers, Gentry said. Of these numbers, 5,210 received citations and 78 were arrested and received citations. Out of the 5,288 drivers, 1,592 were classified as African-American, 45 Asian, 2,760 Caucasian, 696 Hispanic, eight Middle Eastern and 187 Native American.
However, Gentry said the number of Native Americans is not accurate because the state instructed him to place 150 drivers of “unknown” ethnicity into the Native American category.
“You’re not going to get complaints from Native Americans are you?” Councilman Sam Murphey said.
Data used to compile the report is gathered from video and audio equipment in each of the department’s vehicles, Gentry said. If a driver feels an officer was biased, the department can review the case.