“Some police departments across the country have embraced the corrupting and unjust practice of raising revenue for their municipalities by pushing officers to write as many traffic tickets as possible.
Policing for profit encourages unfair enforcement of the law. It also increases the likelihood that motorists stopped for infractions largely unrelated to public safety will be killed or injured during encounters with officers who are trained to view traffic stops as moments of mortal peril.
The situation cries out for departments to change how officers are trained. Ultimately, these departments need to stand down from practices that bring many more people than necessary into contact with the law under circumstances that too often lead to what one district attorney refers to as “anticipatory killings” by police officers.
The New York Times lays out these and other issues in an alarming investigation of the culture that too often transforms traffic stops for common violations into unnecessary beatings, car chases or shootings.