JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Attorney General Chris Koster released the 12th Annual Report on Vehicle Stops Friday.
The report contains analysis on more than 1.6 million stops by 631 law enforcement agencies, including racial and ethnic information about drivers who were stopped.
“One of the best uses of these reports is as a springboard for dialogue and communication between law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve,” Koster said. “It is vital that Missouri law enforcement agencies continue to review the rates of stops and searches and to continue their outreach efforts.”
The “disparity indexes” compare the proportion of stops for drivers of a particular race or ethnicity to the proportion of state or local population of that racial or ethnic group.
A value of “1” represents no disparity; values over “1” indicate over-representation, while values under “1” reflect under-representation.
For 2011 the statewide African-American disparity index was 1.63, up slightly from the 2010 rate of 1.61.
The disparity index for African-American drivers has increased in ten of the last 12 years.
The report shows the rate (disparity index) at which Hispanics were stopped decreased to .65 in 2011, compared to .78 in 2010, a rate lower than that of white drivers.
However, search rates (the rates at which drivers of a given race are searched subsequent to a traffic stop) for both Hispanic and African-American drivers continue to be higher than for white drivers.
Hispanic drivers were 1.72 times more likely than white drivers to be searched, while African-American drivers were 1.53 times more likely to be searched compared to whites.
Despite the elevated search rates, Hispanics were less likely than white drivers to be found with contraband subsequent to being search.
While the “contraband hit rate” for white drivers was 24.42, the rate of Hispanics searched and found to have contraband was 13.51, and 18.42 for African-Americans.
The report can be views at http://ago.mo.gov/VehicleStops/.