Two years after InvestigateWest reported that the Washington State Patrol was searching some racial and ethnic groups at a rate one researcher called “disturbing,” the agency has released a new analysis of its stop-and-search data. The headline: “No systematic agency bias.”
In a news release announcing the study, WSU said researchers didn’t find “intentional, agency-level racial bias.” Statewide, they found no evidence that members of Black, Indigenous, Latino and other communities of color were being stopped at a rate higher than their populations and noted “minimal” differences between day and night stops, the latter a more widely recognized metric for determining bias. But WSU’s analysis of more than 7 million State Patrol interactions with the public from 2015 to 2019 found that state troopers stop Black drivers at a rate disproportionate to the Black population in King and Pierce counties, and found a similar disparity for Latino drivers in Benton County.
Clay Mosher, a WSU sociology professor who was not involved in the most recent study but conducted similar analyses in the past, said it’s “a good thing” the state is renewing the studies. He agreed with the finding that there’s no evidence of statewide discrimination by troopers. Still, Mosher acknowledged, the State Patrol is more or less where it was almost 15 years ago, when he and colleagues recommended investigating the search-rate disparities. Loftis, the State Patrol spokesperson, said the agency abandoned those studies in 2007 because of lack of funds.
Career transitions are hard for everyone, but the shift from military to civilian life can be particularly challenging.
Soldiers coming back from the Vietnam War were too often treated as damaged goods by employers, according to research by Alair MacLean, sociology professor at Washington State University, it remains to be seen how welcoming employers will be to service members returning from the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — especially those in the second half of life.
Veterans, generally speaking, bring many skills to their future employers, including an ability to work in multigenerational teams. Many vets are worldly, having been exposed to different cultures and parts of the world during tours of duty. That said, some veterans with combat experience can’t deal with loud noises; others may find it difficult to be surrounded by too many people in a crowded office.
On Wednesday, October 6, the Lynnwood Times facilitated an interview forum with several candidates running for Mayoral, City Council, and School District positions in Lynnwood and Mukilteo. It was an insightful experience listening to each candidates’ response and perspective. There was one question in particular, though, that has left staff both puzzled and concerned: What does equity mean to you?
To understand what equity means, the Lynnwood Times spoke with Assistant Professor of Sociology and Medical Education and Clinical Sciences from Washington State University, Dr. Anna Zamora-Kapoor. While some believe that equity implies equal outcomes, Dr. Kapoor explains how equity focuses on achieving equal opportunity.
“The concept of equity is close to fairness and equal opportunity, and usually contrasted to equality,” she says. “Equality provides everyone with the same resources while equity recognizes that some groups need additional resources to have an equal opportunity to thrive.”
When given cash with no strings attached, low- and middle-income parents increased their spending on their children, according to Washington State University research. The study, published in the journal Social Forces, also found that the additional funding had little impact on child-related expenditures of high-income parents.
For the study, WSU sociologist Mariana Amorim analyzed spending by recipients of the Alaska Permanent Fund payments. Funded by state oil revenues, the fund is the closest program in the United States to a universal basic income. Every resident in Alaska receives a payment called a dividend; the total amount varies each year, but during the time span of this study, 1996-2015, payments averaged around $1,812 a person, or $7,248 for a four-person family, when adjusted for inflation to 2014 dollars.
“The data suggests that lower-income parents are responsible using cash payments, so we don’t need to be so afraid to give poor people money that can help their families,” Amorim said. “Low-income parents do need to spend a greater part of the money they received on basic necessities—for instance to catch up on bills or to fix a broken car—but they still managed with the leftover amount to invest in their children.”
Data from the FBI’s 2020 Uniform Crime Report show the number of homicides rose nearly 83% from the previous year.
In 2020, there were 53 homicides reported. In 2019, there were 29. The number of homicides reported in 2020 is more than double the number in 2018 and 2017.
In February 2021, Clay Mosher, a sociology professor at Washington State University Vancouver who studies crime trends, told KOIN 6 News it’s possible crime during the COVID-19 pandemic years could prove to be a statistical anomaly and he’s interested to see what the long-term data will show.
In 2021, the Portland Police Bureau says there were 60 homicides reported between January and August.