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Missouri Attorney General


2000 racial profiling forms submitted by agency

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Individual reports are 150K pdf icon. Accuracy verification statement.

You can view all of the agency reports in two PDF files:
Part 1: Adair County-Portageville. Part 2: Potosi-Wyatt.

Report breakdown


A new state law, Section 590.650 RSMo (2000), puts Missouri on the forefront in addressing the issue of racial profiling, which is defined as the inappropriate targeting of drivers by their race. This law requires each law enforcement agency in the state to record data concerning the race of every driver involved in a traffic stop, search or arrest. That information is submitted to the Attorney General's Office on an annual basis, then compiled in a report that is presented to the Governor and the General Assembly by June 1.

The 2000 Annual Report on Missouri traffic stops includes information from 634 law enforcement agencies reporting information on 453,189 stops from Aug. 28 (when the law took effect) through Dec. 31. The statewide data indicate that African Americans were stopped at a rate 27 percent higher than expected based solely on their proportion of the population, and when compared with whites, African American drivers were stopped at a rate 30 percent higher than whites. The numbers were compared using a standard of measure called the Disparity Index.

"The information does nothing to disprove the perception of racial profiling," Attorney General Jay Nixon said. "Anecdotal information, combined with levels of disproportion in the data, leads me to believe that African Americans and Hispanics have, in certain instances, been the target of racial profiling in Missouri."

Nixon also noted, however, that he could not make that same judgment for any specific city.

"Disproportion in the numbers does not necessarily reflect racial profiling," Nixon said. "There are numerous extenuating circumstances that affect disproportion. Each law enforcement agency must use the data to determine its context locally and as a means of opening dialog on this important issue."

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