According to PBS News, the Attorney General’s office of Missouri collected data for the first time on whether people pulled over by the police lived in that area, and found that black drivers were 91% more likely to be pulled over by police.
The report comes on the heels of a 2017 Missouri NAACP travel advisory warning people to be cautious while traveling throughout the state. This report also comes after the 2014 protests in Ferguson following the police shooting of Michael Brown, who lived in the St. Louis suburb.
Data from the Attorney General has shown that the disparity between black and white drivers has only increased. In 2015, black drivers were about 70% more likely to be pulled over by police, and the rate increased to 75% in 2016 and 85% in 2017.
However, some members of law enforcement in Missouri are pushing back on interpretations of the data. In response to the report, Wes Blair, president of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association, said that “There is much more to this issue than raw data of stops. Those who support our law enforcement officers should not blindly conclude bias exists without being part of the solution.”
While Missouri law allows the governor to take away state funding from police agencies that don’t comply with the state’s racial profiling laws, this has not occurred at least as far back as 2015.