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Black drivers in Mo. still more likely to be stopped by police

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – A report from the Missouri Attorney Generals office finds that African-American drivers are still more likely to be pulled over by police than white or Hispanic drivers.

The 2007 Missouri Vehicle Stops Report shows that black drivers were 66% more likely to be stopped than white drivers, up from 54% in 2006.

Scott Holste is a spokesman for the State Attorney General's office. He says there is no one single explanation for the disparity.

"But one thing that could possibly be looked at is the change in the law that took place back in 2004, that included investigative stops in the report, as well as people stopped for traffic violations," Holste said.

The report also states that Hispanic drivers were more likely to have their vehicles searched than black or white drivers.

Holste says the figures were made public in the hopes that constructive dialogue can be conducted between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.

"It still is fairly early as far as (the) number of years to be looking at this as what kind of trends may be there or how this can be analyzed, but certainly we believe that it's something worth watching," Holste said.

Phone calls to St. Louis-area NAACP officials have so far not been returned.

The full report is available on the Attorney General's website:

ago.mo.gov

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