We previously recommended reforms to police practices, such as greater training and revising use of force guidelines in light of the George Floyd and other horrific incidents to reduce unnecessary police violence in interactions with unarmed persons of color. We also reimaged the role of police, proposing that there be less or in some cases no police involvement in certain areas involving homelessness, drug abuse, mental health and domestic abuse. Curbing such involvement also could reduce or eliminate interactions that may end violently.
We now recommend that the New Jersey Attorney General establish a commission to consider the practicalities of a largely non-police traffic enforcement system in which police address only the most serious road and traffic violations. Nearly half of the 50 million Americans who come into contact with police at least once a year are pulled over in a traffic stop. Nationwide a person of color is twice as likely to be pulled over as a white driver. Unless there is a structural change, individuals like Daunte Wright, a person of color recently killed as a result of a traffic stop, will continue to be victim of conduct that is both avoidable and not necessary to enforce the traffic laws.