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Racial disparity for black drivers in Boone County traffic stops highest since 2000

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

According to new traffic stop data from Attorney General Eric Schmitt, the racial disparity of black drivers being pulled over by Columbia and Boone County law enforcement is the highest it has been since 2000.

The data shows the Columbia Police Department is more than four and a half times more likely to pull over people who are black than people who are white.

Results are similar for the Boone County Sheriff's Department. The data shows the Boone County Sheriff's Department is just under four and a half times more likely to pull over people who are black than people who are white.

The Attorney General's Office Vehicle Stops Report measures the disparity by the number of traffic stops involving a person of a particular race versus that race's driving-age population. The office has released the report since 2000 as a possible metric to show racial profiling in traffic stops.

The report shows that black drivers in Columbia were pulled over at a rate three and a half times greater than the driving-age population in the city.

The disparity index for black drivers is the highest since the attorney general began releasing the report.

The numbers are based on population figures from the 2010 Census for people 16 or older who designated a single race. Statewide, 82.76% of Missourians are white and 10.90% of Missourians are black.

Locally, Boone County has a total population of 132,068 while Columbia has a population of 90,168, according to the 2010 census.

Out of 10,638 total Boone County Sheriff's Department traffic stops in 2019, 3,117 of the people who were stopped, were black.

As for the Columbia Police Department, out of 15,015 total traffic stops, 5,250 of the people who were stopped were black.

One difference between the Columbia Police Department data and the Boone County Sheriff's Department data is the rate at which traffic stops result in searches.

Over 20% of the 5,250 instances where CPD pulled over a black person resulted in searches. While just under 12% of the 9,069 traffic stops where CPD pulled over a white person resulted in searches.

For the Boone County Sheriff's Department, just over 9% of the 3,117 instances when a sheriff's deputy pulled over a black person resulted in a search. While over 12% of the 6,970 of the instances when a sheriff's deputy pulled over a white person resulted in a search.

Lastly, in 2019, when the Columbia Police Department stopped a black person in traffic, 14% of the time, it resulted in an arrest. When CPD stopped a white person in traffic, 10.49% of those stops resulted in an arrest.

When the Boone County Sheriff's Department stopped a black person in traffic, 12.48% of the time, it resulted in an arrest and when the Boone County Sheriff's Department stopped a white person in traffic, 6.97% of those stops resulted in the arrest.

We reached out to the local NAACP and local city leaders but they declined to comment.

Boone / Columbia / Crime / Missouri / Top Stories

Zach Boetto

Zach Boetto started working with ABC 17 News in June after graduating from California State University-Channel Islands with a degree in organizational communication. He reports weekday evenings and weekend mornings.

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