Residents react to statistics of police stopping 75 percent more - KMOV.com

Residents react to statistics of police stopping 75 percent more blacks than whites

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) - New statistics released Monday by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster showed that African-American drivers were 75 percent more likely than caucasian drivers to be stopped by police while driving on Missouri roads.

"No, it's not surprising," said Shontelle Worthy. "There are certain cities you don't go in, like maybe Maryland Heights or St. Ann, St. John, Breckenridge, out that way."

The statistics show a steep increase from those in 2001, which show African-American drivers were stopped 31 percent more than white drivers within the state.

None of the St. Louis area residents News 4 spoke with were surprised by the statistics. Some said they had first-hand experience of being pulled over allegedly on their skin color alone.

"I've had that experience of being completely innocent but pulled over by an officer unjustifiably, so I can relate to it," said Dramon Foster, a defense attorney. "I was basically riding my bike while in college, I was a Wash U student, and I was pulled over by a police officer."

The St. Louis County municipality with the worst record is Ladue, where African-Americans are more than 16 times more likely to be pulled over. The statistics are less drastic in St. Louis City, where black drivers are slightly more than twice as likely to be pulled over.

"I would like to see St. Louis County pick up part of the money for the municipalities, put it under St. Louis County and let's make a difference," said President Esther Haywood of the St. Louis County NAACP.

In Koster's report, he said that while the increase in racial disparity in traffic stops is striking, the statistics do not prove law enforcement officers are making stops based on the race or ethnicity of the driver.
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