Missouri Attorney General Reports Racial Profiling

6 years 10 months 3 days 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 - Nearly two years after Robert Mueller took on the role of special counsel to look into Russian election... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, April 18 2019 Apr 18, 2019 Thursday, April 18, 2019 10:18:00 AM CDT April 18, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - Several agencies responded to a fire near Millersburg today. Officials say they received a call around... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, April 18 2019 Apr 18, 2019 Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:56:00 AM CDT April 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - On April 18, 1969, Boone County National Bank filled a model rocket with things from the time period... More >>
8 hours ago Thursday, April 18 2019 Apr 18, 2019 Thursday, April 18, 2019 3:09:00 AM CDT April 18, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Parks and Recreation Department is considering removing a fee for dog park users. ... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 8:05:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
FULTON - Wednesday marked two years since Carl DeBrodie was reported missing from an assisted living facility in Fulton, and... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 8:04:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – A new bill up for hearing Wednesday night is fighting against the discrimination of what some consider... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 7:05:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — An attempt to abolish jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana has failed in... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:52:49 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Some Republican Missouri lawmakers are calling for the resignation of University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor C.... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:26:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Attorney General Eric Schmitt is using a new website to ask Missourians to share their real-life stories... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:25:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – KOMU 8 News has learned American Airlines is adding additional flights to Chicago starting Friday, May 3. ... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:00:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Battle Spartans have a new head football coach. Former Missouri Tiger and NFL defensive lineman Atiyyah... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 4:59:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA - Community members voiced concerns and asked questions about Columbia Regional Airport (COU) at the All Things Airport coffee... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 4:57:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) described what he called an "opportunistic" time for the state of Missouri in... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:58:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - Complaints, inspections and social media outcry surround Callaway Hills Animal Shelter.  This KOMU 8 Target 8... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:40:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Aurora Organic Dairy officially opened its Columbia milk plant Wednesday and is expected to create more than 100... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 12:11:00 PM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT — Holts Summit Ward 2 Aldermen Candidate Lisa Buhr started the process Wednesday for a special election... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 10:27:00 AM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A man from Brumley pleaded guilty Tuesday in three separate cases, two of which involved child sex crimes.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 8:21:08 AM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri's House Bill 992 would allow registered voters to cast an absentee ballot without stating a reason.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, April 17 2019 Apr 17, 2019 Wednesday, April 17, 2019 5:30:00 AM CDT April 17, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 49°
12pm 54°
1pm 55°
2pm 57°
3pm 59°