Sunday, May 30, 2004

Missouri Racial Profiling

While it has received some media coverage, the 2003 Missouri Annual Report on Traffic Stops is a troubling document worth reading as a primary source.

In a nutshell, black drivers were 40 percent more likely than whites to be stopped, and 80% more likely to be subjected to a search. While Hispanics weren't much more likely to be stopped than whites, they were twice as likely to be subjected to a search. Ironically, when searched, whites were more likely to be found with contraband. 23 percent of whites searched were found with contraband, while only 17 percent of black motorists who were searched were caught with contraband. Less than 15% of Hispanics who were searched had contraband.

How frustrating must it be to be a minority person to have your suspicions of official prejudice confirmed - to be pulled over and be subjected to a time-consuming and intrusive search, while middle-aged white guys like me drive by unmolested?


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