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Report Suggests Some Police Still Profile Black Drivers

By K. Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – African-American drivers in Missouri were 40-percent more likely to be stopped by law enforcement in 2002 than white drivers. That's according to a state-mandated report issued Friday by the office of Attorney General Jay Nixon.

In 2001, blacks were only 35-percent more likely to be pulled over than whites.

Statistician Scott Decker with the University of Missouri-St. Louis says despite the five-percent increase this year, it's too early to call it a trend.

"Two years does not a trend make; a lot of bad economic decisions have been made off of two-point trends, and I think particularly as third and fourth year data come in, we'll be able to talk about a trend," Decker said.

59 Missouri law enforcement agencies failed to report the required racial information in 2002. Under state law, Governor Bob Holden has the option of withholding funding to those departments.


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