Missouri Blacks Racially Profiled

Published June 2, 2009

Blacks in Missouri are far more likely than anybody else in the state to be pulled over by police, even though they are far less likely to be caught with contraband after being stopped, a new study by the State Attorney General’s Office reveals.

In fact, they are 67 percent more apt to be stopped than White or Hispanic drivers, according to the report, released Monday.

"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," Attorney General Chris Koster said.

Hispanics, while not as targeted as African Americans, were still twice as likely to be stopped as White drivers. The report is cause for serious concern, says Tony Rothert, 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, noting that people of color are only half as likely as Whites to be found with illegal substances.

Written by BET.com Staff

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