Black drivers are 91% more likely to be stopped in Missouri

11 months 3 weeks 2 days ago Monday, June 10 2019 Jun 10, 2019 Monday, June 10, 2019 3:52:00 PM CDT June 10, 2019 in News
By: The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A report from Missouri's attorney general shows that black drivers across the state are 91% more likely than white motorists to be pulled over by police and newly collected data shows that African-Americans are even more likely to be stopped in many communities where they live.

The Attorney General's Office for the first time last year collected data on whether people pulled over by police lived in the area or not. That's significant because law enforcement organizations for years have said that if drivers of color from out of town are pulled over as they commute through a city with a large white population that could skew a local police agency's data to make the disparity rate artificially high.

While that appears to be the case in some jurisdictions, the numbers show the disparity is sometimes actually higher when comparing arrests of only resident white and black drivers.

The Missouri NAACP in 2017 issued a travel advisory warning people to be careful while in Missouri because of a danger that civil rights won't be respected, citing in part the attorney general's annual report on disparities in police stops.

For example, St. Louis County police were 80% more likely to stop black drivers compared to white drivers, when analyzing the total number of police stops. But when only comparing St. Louis County drivers, data show black drivers were more than twice as likely to be pulled over.

In the Kansas City-area city of Blue Springs, which is 87% white based on 2010 census data and close to Interstate 70, black drivers in general were 275% more likely to be stopped. When isolating stops to residents, data show black drivers were nearly three times as likely to be stopped compared to white resident drivers.

"That is worrisome, because now we have a more accurate indicator of disparity because the population base is, if you will, the correct one," said Richard Rosenfeld, a University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist who analyzed the data for the attorney general's office.

The 2018 report comes nearly five years after protesters in Ferguson drew national attention to longstanding concerns about police treatment of black communities following the 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old who lived in the St. Louis suburb.

Data released by Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt show that since then, reports of black drivers being pulled over at a disproportionately high rate compared to their white counterparts have only increased. Last year's statewide disparity rate between white and black drivers is the highest recorded in the almost two decades since the state first began compiling data.

In Ferguson, black drivers in 2014 were 265 percent more likely than white motorists to be pulled over. When comparing only residents, black drivers were more than three times as likely to be stopped compared to white motorists in 2018.

"For the eighteenth year in a row, the Missouri Attorney General's office has released a report that shows black communities, and people of color are disproportionately stopped and searched by law enforcement," ACLU legislative and policy Director Sara Baker said in a statement. "A report is not enough. Actions must be taken."

In 2015, data show black drivers were roughly 70% more likely to be stopped by police compared to white motorists statewide. That disparity climbed to 75% in 2016 and up to 85% in 2017.

"One has to be cautious about how you interpret that," Rosenfeld said, "because in the more recent years of course we're moving further and further away from the 2010 Census, which was used as the population base. But I don't think use of the 2010 Census alone explains that increase in disparity."

Missouri Sheriffs' Association Executive Director Kevin Merritt in a Monday statement said "law enforcement has no tolerance for racial bias in policing and in general is not opposed to data collection." But he raised issues with drawing conclusions from police stops and said law enforcement officials have pushed to collect additional data on whether officers knew the race of the driver before pulling them over.

"There is much more to this issue than raw data of stops," Merritt said. "Those who support our law enforcement officers should not blindly conclude bias exists without being part of the solution."

Missouri Police Chiefs Association President Wes Blair referred questions about the attorney general's findings to Executive Director Sheldon Lineback, who on Friday said he has been out on medical leave and had not yet read the report. Lineback did not immediately comment.

The attorney general released the annual police stops findings on May 31, within days of Plain View Project researchers flagging 166 bigoted or violent social media posts by active-duty and former cops in St. Louis and other cities, sparking an internal affairs probe and officer sensitivity training in St. Louis.

One St. Louis police official shared a meme asserting that "if the Confederate flag is racist, then so is Black History Month."

The progressive advocacy group Empower Missouri is calling for increased communication between police and communities and policies "that help to break down the socioeconomic barriers that disproportionately affect People of Color in our state," according to a release from the group in response to the latest police stops report.

The organization also wants "meaningful legislation to address the inherent structural problems within our criminal justice system."

"If you don't have any teeth in that law that bans racial profiling, then you won't get compliance," said Republican state Rep. Shamed Dogan, of the St. Louis suburb of Ballwin. "We need to get Republicans on board to recognize that it's a crisis. We have data to prove this has been going on for two decades."

Missouri law allows the governor to strip state funding from police agencies that don't comply with the state's racial profiling law . State Budget Director Dan Haug said at least as far back as 2015, that has not occurred.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Tuesday was the rescheduled municipal election from April. The election was initially postponed due to Coronavirus concerns. ... More >>
6 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:25:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) — The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man imprisoned in a... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:18:01 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A 20-year-old Jefferson City man was arrested on suspicion of two different sodomy charges. The Fulton... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:05:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - A 25-year-old woman is sharing her story after she was hit by a car Monday during a protest... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:44:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Protests continued along Broadway in downtown Columbia Tuesday night. During the protest, Columbia police officers took a... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 9:34:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri judge has dismissed two lawsuits against a ballot proposal to expand Medicaid health care... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:51:39 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak at a Kansas City paper plant has infected more than 200 people. ... More >>
8 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 8:45:51 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
FORT LEONARD WOOD - A Department of Army civilian died at Fort Leonard Wood following a crane incident around 2... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:30:02 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Gov. Mike Parson announced Monday he is withholding $131 million from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 7:30:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After several days of protests around the state of Missouri, Columbia Police Chief Geoff Jones released a statement... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 6:59:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Boone County elections are being held today, and they look a little different than normal. COVID-19 precautions,... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 6:12:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Around 10:50 p.m. the Columbia Police Department tweeted and said Daniel Wood had been located. @ColumbiaPD... More >>
14 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 2:52:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
15 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS — The City of St. Louis is under a curfew starting Tuesday at 9 p.m. ... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 12:46:00 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Life today is razor's-edge tense. If your regular coping methods aren't measuring up, there are science-backed actions we... More >>
16 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 12:33:24 PM CDT June 02, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
JEFFERSON CITY - Police are investigating a reported armed robbery involving a pizza delivery driver late Monday night. According... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:44:28 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Gunfire damaged several homes in northeast Columbia early Tuesday, though no injuries have been reported. Police responded... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:37:09 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Police are investigating a reported home invasion on Aspen Heights Parkway, during which three people apparently broke in... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, June 02 2020 Jun 2, 2020 Tuesday, June 02, 2020 10:33:23 AM CDT June 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
6am 69°
7am 71°
8am 75°
9am 78°