The latest annual report released by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office found that in 2018, Black drivers in Missouri were 91% more likely to be pulled over than white motorists.
The report also shows that people of color are disproportionately stopped and searched by law enforcement. Black and Hispanic drivers were 1.48 and 1.4 times more likely, respectively, to have their vehicles searched than white drivers, despite the fact both groups were slightly less likely than whites to possess contraband.
This report comes only two years after the NAACP issued a travel advisory warning Black motorists of the potential problems with traveling through Missouri.
Over the years, the numbers have only continued to get worse and Missouri has not made major changes to address the issue of racism and profiling in the police force.
In 2017, Black motorists were 85% more likely to be stopped than white drivers. The number was 75% in 2016 and 69% in 2015.
“Without significant reform, Missouri will remain a state where minority drivers are harassed and unsafe,” Sara Baker, legislative and policy director for ACLU of Missouri, told the Kansas City Star.
The ACLU is trying to get Kansas Governor Mike Parson to both collect data and hold police officers accountable for racial profiling. Racial profiling is technically outlawed in the state but there are no real consequences for the perpetrators in law enforcement.
Kansas Republican state Rep. Shamed Dogan of St. Louis County is pushing forward a bill that would identify problem officers and then offer training and other efforts before the officer could be fired.
Police departments would have up to six years to get their act together and make sure their officers aren’t racially profiling. On top of that, the attorney general’s office could withhold state funding if a department doesn’t comply.