Document Type


Date of Award



Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs (SOPA)

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Administration of Justice

Committee Chairperson

David N. Baker

Committee Member 1

Jasmine M. Drake

Committee Member 2

Howard Henderson

Committee Member 3

Glenn S. Johnson


Differential Association, Implicit Bias, Police Discretion, Race and Gender, Traffic Stops


The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of race and gender disparities in police traffic stops as they relate to the number of tickets issued, number of consent searches, and number of arrests of traffic violators in the southern region of Texas, Harris County. The research will further shed light on how implicit bias affects police discretion and provide implications for police officers. This research will bring attention to the sanction disparity and examine the relationship between race and gender in motorist outcomes at the conclusion of traffic stops. The data for this research was conducted from secondary data obtained from Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) annual reporting and the Houston Police Department. The sample consisted of 21 Texas Law Enforcement Agencies in the Houston metropolis area of the state of Texas, Harris County. This included Law Enforcement Agencies from college/university police departments, Houston Police Department, Harris County Constables Offices, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, and Independent School District Police Officers. To specifically focus on implicit bias and Police discretion, an exhausted review of the literature was conducted. Further analysis examined implicit bias specified in the study as it relates to the use of discretion by police officers when contacting African American men and women in the southern region of Texas Harris County. The Standard Multiple Regression procedures including the multiple correlation procedure were used to test the aforementioned hypotheses. All hypotheses were tested at the .05 level or better. One of the most surprising findings of the current study was the significantly predictable relationship between racial variables (number of African Americans, number of Asians, number of Hispanics and other racial group violators) and the number of arrests given by officers associated with Texas Law Enforcement Agencies. The five racial variables were found to be significant linearly related to the number of tickets issued by officers of Texas Law Enforcement agencies


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