Missouri Attorney General Reports Racial Profiling

7 years 7 months 1 week ago Thursday, June 14 2012 Jun 14, 2012 Thursday, June 14, 2012 11:28:00 AM CDT June 14, 2012 in News
By: Josh Lander
loading

COLUMBIA - Some African Americans refer to it as DWB -- Driving While Black. However, the common name for this issue is racial profiling. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is using numbers to measure the problem of racial profiling is in his state. The most recent statistics actually aren't recent at all, they're from 2008. Regardless, the numbers worry Koster.

The key statistics are the contraband hit rate andthe arrest rate. The contraband hit rate is the fraction of the time members of a certain race have illegal contraband when they are pulled over by police. Arrest percentage is the fraction of the time members of a certain race are arrested when they get pulled over. 

White people have a contraband hit rate of about 20 percent compared to 16 and a half percent for black people. However, white people have an arrest rate of nearly six percent, lower than that of black people at eight and a half. Simply put, white people are found to have illegal contraband on them more often than black people when they are pulled over by the police, but they are arrested less frequently when pulled over.

Looking deeper into the numbers, these disparities could be attributed elsewhere, though red flags of racial profiling would still exit. Attorney General Koster also looked at the search rate of drivers who have been pulled over. When white people were pulled over, their cars were searched about 7 percent of the time. Black people that were pulled over had their vehicles searched almost twice as often at nearly twelve percent of the time. 

Former sargeant with the Columbia Police Department, John Worden, now works for the Columbia Law Enforcement Training Institute. He isn't hesitant to talk about local issues of race-based traffic stops.

"I'm not going to say racial profiling doesn't happen, even here in mid-Missouri," he said. "I haven't personally seen it in my 20 years, but I would never say it doesn't still happened. 

Nathan Stephens, the senior coordinator of Mizzou's Black Culture Center knows too well what it means to be racially profiled. 

"I don't want to feel like I'm constantly being harrassed for no reason," Stephens said. "I've been pulled over more than once where I asked the officer what I did and his best response to me was 'this is an area where we get the report of a lot of stolen vehicles.'"

As for discretion, Stephens recalled a terrifying experience from his youth.

"I was walking downtown with my friend, when a white officer stopped his car next to us and pulled a shotgun on us, yelling for us to show our hands. He 'cuffed us and said he was looking for a 40-year-old man who had just robbed the Hardee's. I was a scraggly, skinny 13-year-old kid. How could I possibly be mistaken for a middle-aged man?"

Most local police departments have a specific department dedicated to handling issues of discrimination and human rights.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA- The man accused of opening fire inside of a Columbia Walmart on Friday night threatened to kill Walmart employees... More >>
19 minutes ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 2:19:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A multi-day storm system is on its way to Missouri and could lead to icy roads and minor... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 1:34:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in Weather
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A gunman who opened fire outside of a Kansas City nightclub, killing a woman and... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 1:10:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT - Twenty vehicles crashed on Monday at the I-70 Missouri River Bridge near Rocheport. The Missouri State Highway... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 12:45:00 PM CST January 21, 2020 in News
(RENTON, Wash.) - The Boeing 737 Max is officially on hold. The assembly line in Renton, Washington, has stopped... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 9:39:00 AM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Pinnacle Hospital employees have the opportunity to find a new job at the job fair hosted by... More >>
11 hours ago Tuesday, January 21 2020 Jan 21, 2020 Tuesday, January 21, 2020 3:38:00 AM CST January 21, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missouri School of Journalism Professor Emeritus Rod Gelatt died Sunday January 19, at his home in Arizona. He... More >>
20 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 6:14:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Kansas City Chiefs' AFC Championship victory brought celebration and excitement to fans in Columbia yesterday. Teller's Gallery... More >>
23 hours ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:59:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
ROCHEPORT — As of 3:45 p.m., the westbound lane of I-70 at the Missouri River bridge is now open, according... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:29:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Deputies with the Pulaski County Sheriff's Department rescued a female driver from her car stuck in a... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 2:08:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The snow and bitter cold did not stop the NAACP's Columbia chapter from remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 12:15:00 PM CST January 20, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY - Police say an armed security guard may have shot and killed a man suspected of fatally shooting... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:46:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
FULTON - Maurice Alfred, 33, was arrested by the Fulton Police Department on Sunday and charged with burglary, domestic assault,... More >>
1 day ago Monday, January 20 2020 Jan 20, 2020 Monday, January 20, 2020 8:13:00 AM CST January 20, 2020 in News
HOLDEN— Law enforcement officers in Holden, Missouri have taken a man into custody after a homicide Saturday, according to a... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 5:59:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - After hosting several events Monday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 4:02:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Local Kansas City Chiefs fans are spending their day watching the game with family and friends to see... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:57:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Capitol Kids, a multipurpose gym, reopened its doors on Sunday, nearly 8 months after a tornado... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:37:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS- One Kansas City Chiefs fan saved the day by driving wide receiver Tyreek Hill's grandparents to the AFC... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, January 19 2020 Jan 19, 2020 Sunday, January 19, 2020 3:32:00 PM CST January 19, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 30°
3pm 36°
4pm 33°
5pm 31°
6pm 30°