Posted on June 17, 2019

Black Drivers in Missouri Are 91% More Likely to Be Stopped Than White Drivers, A Report Finds

Michelle Lou, CNN, June 11, 2019

Black drivers are 91% more likely than whites to be pulled over by police, a report from the Missouri Attorney General has found.

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African Americans compose 10.9% of Missouri’s driving age population, but 19.2% of all vehicle stops in 2018, according to the report released May 31.

The report examined 1,539,477 vehicle stops from 596 law enforcement agencies in the state.

People of other races — including whites, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans— were stopped at rates “well below” their portion of the driving-age population, the report said.

Data on arrests and searches

The report also looked at data on arrests and searches during vehicle stops. About 6.37% of the stops of blacks and 6.26% of the stops of Hispanics resulted in arrest, compared with about 4.25% of the stops of whites, the report said.

The average search rate for motorists who were stopped last year was 6.6%. But the report found that blacks (8.93%) and Hispanics (8.44%) were searched at rates above the average for all motorists who were stopped.

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The findings aren’t surprising

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The Missouri report’s findings align with national trends. In March, a Stanford University study of 93 million traffic stops from around the country reported that black drivers are 20% more likely to get pulled over than white drivers.

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For years, law enforcement organizations said drivers of color who were pulled over in a predominantly white area could have exaggerated the racial disparities in vehicle stop data. But this report shows the artificial inflation is not as high as thought — black drivers are still being pulled over at disproportionate rates in their own communities.