St. Louis Public Radio News
8:17 am
Mon June 1, 2009

African-American drivers in Mo. stopped more often

Jefferson City, MO – African-Americans in Missouri are still more likely to be stopped in traffic by authorities than any other racial group, according to a report released today by the State Attorney General's office.

The report shows that African-American drivers in 2008 were 67 percent more likely to be pulled over than were white or Hispanic drivers.

Attorney General Chris Koster says the numbers are disproportionate to Missouri's black population.

"This report is intended to continue the honest dialogue around the reasons for that, and to continue the training to insure that we get to a point where the law is absolutely colorblind," Koster said.

The report also shows that Hispanic drivers were searched at almost twice the level as white drivers, but were only half as likely to be found in possession of illegal substances as whites.

Tony Rothert is Legal Director for the ACLU of Eastern Missouri.

"(Racial profiling) increases the resentment in targeted communities, makes them less likely to cooperate in an investigation and less open and less trust(ing) with the police when they know they're more likely to be searched and less likely to have contraband," Rothert said.

The full report can be found here.