If you’re Black and driving in Missouri, you might want to be extra careful because African-American drivers are more likely to be stopped in the state, according to a new report.
The report, commissioned by Missouri’s attorney general’s office, showed that in 2010 a much larger proportion of African-American drivers were pulled over than drivers of other races. In fact, 61 percent more Black drivers were pulled over than would have been expected when looking at the state’s racial demographics of people who are of driving age.
The report contains analysis on more than 1.6 million stops by 630 law enforcement agencies, including racial and ethnic information about drivers who were stopped.
Though similar reports have been released, Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster does not want people to think that the high percentage of Blacks being pulled over is a cause for racial profiling.
“One of the best uses of these reports is as a springboard for dialogue and communication between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,” he said in a statement.
A Democrat who represents a large number of African-Americans in the east side of Kansas City, Sen. Kiki Curls, told a Kansas City newspaper that for a long while she has heard concerns that defend the findings in the report.
Missouri is not alone in the disparity of Blacks being pulled over more frequently than other races however. A few weeks ago a report out of Houston stated that Blacks in the city were stopped by police vehicles more than any other racial ethnic group in 2010. They were 33 percent of all people stopped by the Houston police, but only made up 23 percent of the city’s population.
(Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters)