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Report finds police stop blacks more often

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – An annual state report released Thursday finds African-American drivers are 46% more likely to be stopped by police than whites. That's an eight percent increase over 2004.

Black drivers were also 78 percent more likely to be searched than whites. The data are meant to help communities determine the reasons for such disparities, according to Scott Holste, a spokesman for Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon.

"Whether there is increased policing in those areas, or if there are centers of industry or other attractions that may bring through large numbers of drivers that may not necessarily reflect the number of folks that live there," Holste said.

Holste also says the perception of racial profiling still exists, but that work continues to have a dialogue that will "help serve as a constructive basis for working some of these issues out."

Just over 95 percent of all Missouri law enforcement agencies submitted data, which represent more than a million and a half traffic stops conducted in Missouri last year.

2005 Racial Profiling Report
Missouri Attorney General's office
(parenthesis notes disparity, or porportion of arrests related to proportion of that race's population in that jurisdiction: 1 means no disparity, less than 1 means under-representation, more than 1 means over-representation)

Police Department % Stops - White (disparity) % Stops - Black (disparity) % Stops - Hispanic (disparity)
Statewide 84.3 10.6 2.2
Clayton 80.9 (0.9) 9.3 (2.3) 1.9 (0.8)
Hazelwood 78.6 (0.8) 16.7 (2.1) 1.6 (0.7)
Jefferson County Sheriff 96.4 (1.02) 0.9 (1.1) 0.96 (0.3)
St. Charles City 91.1 (0.95) 4.03 (2.2) 1.82 (1.5)
St. Charles County Sheriff 92.5 (0.94) 3.2 (2.2) 1.6 (0.87)
St. Louis City 46.6 (0.98) 47.9 (1.1) 1.8 (0.8)
St. Louis County 75.1 (0.91) 19.5 (1.5) 1.5 (0.82)
Wentzville 84.1 (1.02) 11.8 (1.02) 1.5 (1.04)
TO SEE MORE POLICE DEPARTMENT REPORTS, CLICK HERE
For more explanation of disparity, CLICK HERE

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