MO Blacks Stopped By Cops 42% More Than Expected


Black drivers are stopped by Missouri police more often than whites when compared with their part in the population, surveys have shown year after year. That gap grew wider in 2005, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. State Attorney General Jay Nixon’s office tracked more than 1.5 million vehicle stops made by 624 police agencies. African-American drivers were stopped at a rate 42 percent higher than expected based on their proportion of the driving-age population. The difference was 34 percent in 2004. “This is one statistic to keep our eye on because the disparity rate of African-American drivers stopped statewide has been inching up over the years,” said criminologist Richard Rosenfeld of the University of Missouri at St. Louis. “Local communities should look at their own data and patterns to see what is going on.”

Hispanic drivers were 3 percent less likely to be stopped than their proportion of the population. Those Hispanic drivers who were stopped, however, were almost twice as likely to be searched as white drivers. Racial profiling can neither be proved nor disproved by statistics alone, Nixon emphasized. The statistics do not prove that police decided to stop any driver based solely on race. The report, including statewide information and data about individual agencies, can be viewed online at


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