Missouri traffic stop report shows african americans are more likely to be pulled over
Newton county and Joplin police share reports
JOPLIN, Mo. — In the 2018 Missouri Traffic Stop report that was released by Attorney General, Eric Schmitt, minorities, specifically African Americans were reported to be 91% more likely to be pulled over than white people.
“I think its reason to pause, I think its reason to look at it and dig deeper because you know if that’s true, what are all the reasons” said Webb City resident Carol Smith.
The report indicated that search rates were also above average for African Americans and Hispanics.
“I think if the numbers are higher than other places I think that we can’t just say there’s not a problem I think we have to look to see what’s going on” added Smith.
In Newton county the population of African Americans was less than 1% with a disparity index of 8.03. The white disparity index was reported at 0.92.
Any disparity greater than 1 indicates an over representation which means that black motorists were stopped in greater numbers than their proportion of the population.
“That sounds high if you look at the disparity index but without knowing how many of those people were even living in this area its really inaccurate” said Newton county Sheriff, Chris Jennings.
Reports found on ago.mov.gov showed that 136 out of 144 stops for African Americans in Newton county were nonresidents.
Sheriff Jennings says racial profiling is not a factor to the stops.
“These people are in here just doing their job, and like I said in the vast majority of cases at least here we can’t see what race the individual is that’s driving the car until we approach the vehicle.”
Joplin’s total population of African Americans was more than 3% with a disparity index of 2.29. The white disparity index was 1.03.
Joplin Chief of Police, Matt Stewart says racial profiling is not tolerated.
“Our officers are not out stopping cars based upon somebody’s race and if they are doing that then they have no business being in law enforcement.”
Chief Stewart says he focuses on bias based complaints and consent searches to make sure racial profiling is not occurring.
“What I try to do is be open, try to meet with our local NAACP chapter anytime we have a complaint about any kind of bias our officers may have done, we talk about those things, we try to have that open dialogue, so they know I’m doing everything I can so that doesn’t happen here.”
KOAM did reach out to the local NAACP Chapter, and they said a statement will be released by the Missouri state chapter.
In previous years when similar reports were released, the NAACP released a travel advisory in Missouri for black drivers.
To find the 2018 Traffic Stop report click on this link. 2018 Missouri Traffic Stop Report
You can find reports from all police departments. For specific agency reports, Click here. 2018 Agency Reports
For resident and nonresident stop reports, follow this link. Resident and Nonresident Stop Reports
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