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Report: Black, Hispanic Missouri Drivers Face Disproportionate Number of Police Searches

Categories: News

traffic-stop.jpg
via
Police search African American and Hispanic Missouri drivers at a notably higher rate than white drivers -- despite the fact that these minority groups are actually less likely to have contraband on them.

These are the findings of an annual vehicle-stops report that Attorney General Chris Koster released on Friday. The report -- which analyzes more than 1.6 million stops with data from more than 600 law enforcement agencies -- says that black motorists are more likely to be pulled over and searched and are more likely to be arrested during traffic stops than white drivers. This has been the trend since 2000.

These racial disparities are decreasing, notes Koster, who says that the data is "not conclusive evidence of racial profiling."

See also:
- Missouri Hate Tweets: State Has High Rates of Homophobia, Racism (MAPS)
- Supreme Court Rules Against Warrantless Blood Tests for DUI Suspects in Missouri
- St. Louis Car Crashes Caught On Red-Light Cameras (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Regardless, the statistics do show that both black and Hispanic drivers are more likely to be subject to searches, even if police are less frequently finding contraband on them compared to white drivers.

Here's an excerpt from Koster's press release that explains this portion of the report's findings:

Search rates (the rates at which drivers of a given race are searched subsequent to a traffic stop) for both Hispanic and African-American drivers continue to be higher than for white drivers. Hispanic drivers were 1.92 times more likely than white drivers to be searched. African-American drivers were 1.83 times more likely to be searched when stopped than white drivers.

Despite the elevated search rates, Hispanics were less likely than white drivers to be found with contraband subsequent to being searched. While the "contraband hit rate" for white drivers was 25.5, the rate of Hispanics searched and found to have contraband was 16.9. The "contraband hit rate" for African-American drivers was 18.8.

Interestingly, Hispanic drivers are stopped at a low rate, but they're searched at a very high rate.

attorney general chris koster 1.jpg
via Facebook
Attorney General Chris Koster.

Black drivers, however, are both stopped and searched at disproportionately high rates. The report's executive summary, on view below, says that "African-Americans represent 10.9 percent of the population 16 and older but 17.06 percent of all vehicle stops.... African-Americans were stopped at a rate 57 percent greater than expected based solely on their proportion of the population 16 and older."

This number is actually a decline from last year's rate for black drivers and marks the third time the disparity has gone down over the last thirteen years.

One important caveat is that the data does include out-of-state drivers who are stopped, even though these drivers may not reflect the ethnic composition of Missouri. Additionally, the report does not consider what percentage of each race are motorists.

The annual report is required by law after the state legislature enacted a policy in 2000 in response to concerns of racial profiling. The law mandates all officers in the state report specific information, including a driver's race, for each vehicle stop, and agencies must submit their data to the attorney general's office, which completes the report.

Continue for more details on the report and a copy of Koster's summary of the findings.


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24 comments
veaseylover
veaseylover

Or course most of the people commenting that racial profiling is not that rampant are not the ones being stopped frequently.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

we all know blacks and mexicans drive like crap

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

why do blacks commit most crimes in St. Louis? should they be profiled?

Tony Brady
Tony Brady

teenagers in general are more likely to be pulled over not just black, Hispanic, muslim, Christian profiling all are profiled. They have to make money to pay for bigger government. Sad but true.

JamesMadison
JamesMadison topcommenter

Does racial profiling exist? Yes. Is it wide spread? No. Most police officers, white, black, or other, will want to conduct a search given suspicious behavior. Give the police officer attitude, and he will become suspicious.  Also, poor driving will lead to searches as well. Drive the speed limit, stay in your lane, signal all lane changes, and practice defensive driving, then all the problems go away.


Most all never get pulled over for DWB. They get pulled over for going 80 mph, then complain about the officer being racist. Gee, you might curb the attitude when you are clearly in the wrong.

Otis G. Grove III
Otis G. Grove III

Adam, let me tell you a story how when I was on leave from the service I got pulled over by Clayton not one, not two, not three, but six Clayton PD. All for a license plate light that they say was not working but was.

James Madison
James Madison

When speeding, making lane changes without signalling, and rolling through stop signs, you will find yourself pulled over regardless of the color of your skin. Often, the police hit their lights long before noticing your race. This is not profiling or racial discrimination. It is discriminating between law-abiding drivers and those breaking the law. It is a good thing. Plenty of whites get tickets as well. Just because one or a few police officer do target blacks, it does not mean all blacks were targeted. DWB is a myth to give poor black drivers an excuse for driving poorly. Ticket anyone, regardless of race for breaking the law.

James Madison
James Madison

Actually, the majority of people in prison are white. A higher percentage of the black population are in prison. Try not to be delusional yourself. State the clear facts.

Eric Farlow
Eric Farlow

STEDDY P. gets pulled over by drones.

Jay Love
Jay Love

And most likely to be involved in some sort of criminal history

Justin Poole
Justin Poole

Its a lot easier to get arrested for something when you're targeted for your skin color

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

anyone that doesn't know more blacks are in prison than any other race is delusional.

Justin Poole
Justin Poole

Anyone who thinks there isn't racial profiling is delusional

Adam Stahlman
Adam Stahlman

As I always tell people who say," Fuck the police!", if you aren't doing anything illegal, then you shouldn't worry. This is almost as bad as a teacher telling me that white kids are the problem children yet highway patrol stats clearly say otherwise... Don't drive like a moron...sit up in your car seat like you ate supposed to and maybe you won't be targeted...not all cops are assholes! Just saying

Jillian Beckerman
Jillian Beckerman

Indeed, but that's no different then a cop pulling someone over because of the color of their car.

Tisha Lynn
Tisha Lynn

YES..I had a cop run my plates and while he was busy doing that two people made illegal turns.Could have had them instead of trying to run me for no reason.

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