Empower Missouri Responds to Release Of 2015 Vehicle Stops Report Data
Joins Call for Passage of Fair & Impartial Policing Act
Empower Missouri has studied the Vehicle Stops Report (VSR) data annually since 2009, focusing especially on categories of actions that occur after a vehicle is stopped, for example consent searches and resisting arrest charges. “This year’s data shows that, statewide, African American drivers consented to a search only slightly more frequently than European American drivers, down significantly from 2009. But 10 departments with significant numbers of consent searches had disparity factors of 3 to 1 or higher for African American or other minority drivers,” said Don Love, chair of the Empower Missouri Human
Rights Task Force.
Love continued, “Of special concern are the 11 departments that had disparity factors of 3 to 1
or higher for resisting arrest charges, more than 11 to 1 for one department. Officers should be
trained to de-escalate tense situations. Communities with high disparities related to resisting
arrest and other post-stop interactions should seek dialogue with departmental leadership and
request an explanation for the disparities.”
According to research conducted by Empower Missouri, several departments in Missouri have
invested in training for personnel around best practices, including examination of implicit bias,
unrecognized internal attitudes that can influence human interactions. Many of those
departments show improved outcomes around reducing disparities in the VSR data that
correlate to race/ethnicity, evidence that fair and impartial policing can be achieved.
For detailed analysis of the VSR data, see: http://empowermissouri.org/press/press-packets/
Chair, Human Rights Task Force