ABC News analysis shows Black Americans far more likely to be stopped by police

An analysis of data conducted by ABC News with our owned stations shows Black drivers or pedestrians were more likely to be stopped by police than white drivers and pedestrians in several U.S. cities.
12:08 | 09/10/20

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Transcript for ABC News analysis shows Black Americans far more likely to be stopped by police
Right now, at this defining moment in America. We gonna be all right With so much on the line. From ABC news, my America, your America, our America. This is "Turning point." Tonight, driving while black. Pulled over five times more than white drivers in some cities. Driver looks more like one of our suspects because of the wide-set nose. Philando Castile stopped 52 times before he was killed behind the wheel. Now his family speaking out, demanding change. Does it offend you that he was pulled over that many times? Yes, it does, because it definitely means he was profiled. Plus, why one doctor wears scrubs every day, everywhere, Wow. Now! Adrenaline pumping, pulse quickening. A routine traffic stop makes most of us anxious. But for many, such encounters can mean the difference between life and death. Walter Scott, Samuel Dubose. Philando Castile. For a number of those whose loved ones have been killed, the fear and anger for police is raw. For those, those sworn to protect and serve -- They are here to kill us because we black! My nephew philando was murdered by a police officer in falcon heights, Minnesota. Seeing my sister's son, my nephew, shot and killed in a car by another police officer, you know, it was devastating. Philando Castile's life was cut short in July of 2016. He was 22 years old. On that fateful night, the officer makes the call to pull over Castile. I'm going to stop the car, I'm going to check the ids. The two occupants look like someone that was involved in our robbery. The driver looks like one of our suspects just because of the wide set nose. The of situation escalates in a matter of seconds. I do have a firearm on me. Don't reach for it then. Don't pull it out. I have to pull it out. Don't pull it out. You just killed my boyfriend. Less than 40 seconds after approaching the car, Yanez opened fire. He had his hands in plain sight. He offered information. Did you see any effort to deescalate? No, he didn't try any other non-fatal approaches. Officer Yanez would be acquitted on second degree manslaughter and dangerous discharge of a firearm. The family of Castile would receive nearly $3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit. There's no evidence Castile was involved in any robbery. And, as a law-abiding citizen, he had been granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon. He was beloved in his community and worked in St. Paul as a school cafeteria supervisor. He was a bright, caring individual. He loved the work that he did. He loved his mother and his sister, his whole family. I can tell you miss him. Oh, yeah, without a doubt. I think about my nephew every single day. It could be a song. It could be a kid I see walkin' down the street. Dreads. I think about Phil. The pain of sudden loss still lingers. And for his uncle Clarence the fear that this could also happen to him. Driving is one of the most serious and dangerous things that could happen to a person of the seriousness of an African-American dealing with police has been a problem in our country for 150 years. An ABC news investigation in partnership with our own stations has revealed stark disparities. Every one of these men we talked to can recall being stopped by police. This is an issue coast-to-coast. In a number of cities across America black drivers are far more likely to be stopped by police than white drivers. In Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, five times as likely. Chicago and San Francisco, four times as likely. In Raleigh, three times more likely. For philando Castile being pulled over was a frequent occurrence and caused financial hardship, according to a complaint bit aclu, he was stopped 52 times between 2002 and 2016. Sometimes twice in one day. And in one year, he was stopped eight times. Does it offend you that he was pulled over that many times? Yes, it does. Because it definitely means he was profiled. The traffic stops resulted in 86 minor traffic offenses and $6,588 in fines and fees. Though half of the charges were dismissed. This is sort of the tragic example of what happens when we use the justice system as a piggy bank. When fines and fees are used for revenue and we incentivize police. When he can't afford to pay the fines and fees his driver's license is suspended. So philando Castile faces the same choice, you either stop driving or you take the risk and continue to drive, which is what about 75% of people do, including philando Castile, the next time he's pulled over, he has a misdemeanor charge. This is how we take somebody just on the basis of their poverty and induct them into the criminal justice system. In Chicago where black people are four times more likely to be stopped, Edward ward told our station, WLS, he maintains a mental checklist that he goes through when being pulled over. I have my hands, ten and two on the wheel. I'm looking at the officer to appear non-threatening. Ward says he's lost count of the number of times he's been stopped by police. Most recently in July. I'm actually being stopped by the police. There's a lot that comes with it here, a fear of being falsely accused, presumed guilty. Some of us as Americans, we're granted the presumption of guilt until proven innocent. A number of African-Americans have described to me being treated as suspects first and citizens second. Is that what you see playing out here? It's hard to feel fully your sense of citizenship when the police are treating you more of a suspect. For example the last time I was pulled over by a police officer I think may have been 35 years ago. Wow. It just doesn't happen to me. I'm a white, middle class college professor. Take it off the visor and place it on the window. Loyola student defend price created their safety pouch U. Overconfrontational because people reaching for information, it's something needed because that officer may mistake you reaching for your documents for something else. That's why I created this, in hopes that it eases the tension. ABC news found in Louisville and Houston, black Americans were stopped at roughly the same rate as white Americans. Houston police chief Acevedo has had difficult conversations with his own family. Conversation with my father in Spanish, a Cuban immigrant. And with my own children. 152 officers have been fired, resigned in fear of being fired. That's more than a few bad apples. You want to conduct yourself in a manner where you don't give a bad cop the opportunity to act with a bad heart. And there are those fighting for institutional change, after the death of Sandra bland who authorities say died by suicide in a jail cell days after being arrested in a confrontational traffic stop outside of Houston, the Sandra bland act was passed, demanding that officers receive deescalation training. Reform. What needs to happen? There's so many things we could do. Separate the financial incentives. Stop using the traffic code as an excuse to do a fishing keep the road safe. Stop speeders, stop drunk drivers, but don't use the traffic code and vehicle code to stop crime. The vast majority of people who are searched, pulled over, essentially humiliated, are going to be innocent. In four out of six cities where data was available. Blacks were less likely to be possessing contra brand. They're routinely subjected to these searches, even though they're not carrying anything illegal. For Clarence Castile, the time to change is now. He's taking matters into his own hands. In 2017, he joined the St. Louis police reserves. Why was it important to do that? This began before philando was shot and killed. My whole idea was to work with police officers, learn a little more about what they do, learn some of their terminology and take that information back to the community and share it with young people. I wanted first-hand knowledge of that so I can share that information. Then I wanted my people to see me in this uniform. But after Phil was shot and killed, it became even more important then, because I wanted them to know that even though this, this horrible thing had happened to my family, we can still find a way to work together. Coming up. How many times do you think you've been pulled over by the police? Oh, I can't count. Why one doctor wears scrubs every day U everywhere. Everywhere.everywhere.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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