Silicon Valley Engineer Analyses Traffic Stops In Extremely Rich City, Discovers Disturbing Pattern

The extremely wealthy cityof Atherton, Calif. ticketed 182 drivers from February to July 2013. Out of those, 175 had Hispanic last names, according to an analysis of Atherton’s police blotter.

Kent Brewster, a front-end engineer for Pinterest, published his analysis on a website called “Profiling Atherton: The Dark Side To That Funny Little Police Blotter.”

“I in no way, shape or form ‘hacked’ Atherton or its police department to produce this site,” he wrote. All the information he used came from public records or the police blotter.

Amid noise complaints from grumpy yuppies and parking violations, he noticed a startling pattern. Hispanics who didn’t even live in the city received way more vehicle code violations than anyone else.

  • Of the 182 drivers ticketed, only two lived in Atherton.
  • 96 tickets went to people living in neighbouring Redwood City — 39% Hispanic. Atherton’s population is 3.9% Hispanic.
  • Police issued 99 citations at the two main points where Redwood City touches Atherton.

More than 100 of the people ticketed were charged with misdemeanours for driving without a licence. L.A. attorney Steven Rodriguez’ blog calls driving without a licence a “woblette,” meaning prosecutors have the choice to make the offence a misdemeanour or infraction.

Misdemeanours require booking, fingerprinting, and a mugshot and could land the offender 6 months in jail and a $US100 fine.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.