Rate of vehicle stops involving black drivers dropped in 2018

4 weeks 23 hours 37 minutes ago Monday, May 20 2019 May 20, 2019 Monday, May 20, 2019 2:14:58 PM CDT May 20, 2019 in News
By: Steve Lambson, KOMU 8 News Content Manager

COLUMBIA - Data released by the Columbia Police Department on Friday show the rate at which black drivers are stopped by officers dropped in 2018.

According to the 2018 Traffic Stop Data Breakdown, officers stopped 16,707 drivers throughout the year. Of those, 4,866 drivers were black.

That put the disparity index for black drivers at 2.92 for the year. The racial disparity index compares the proportion of stops involving certain demographic groups with the proportion of the respective group in the population.

The 2018 disparity index for black drivers is Columbia's lowest since 2014, when it was at 2.45. In 2017, Columbia's index was at its highest with 3.28.

In 2018, the disparity index for white drivers was 0.80, and 0.69 for Hispanic drivers.

The rate at which black drivers are stopped in Columbia has drawn criticism from various groups in the past. Some have suggested the numbers show Columbia has a problem with racial profiling, which police officials have denied.

A new statistic in the report, required as of Jan. 1, 2018, is the resident status of drivers stopped by police. Of the 16,707 drivers stopped in all, 13,451 were residents of Columbia. Among the black drivers stopped, 4,199 were Columbia residents.

The data are to be turned into the Missouri Attorney General's Office by June 1, after which the office releases a compiled report of data from law enforcement agencies statewide.

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