Report Shows Black Drivers Stopped + Searched More Often, MSP Pledges Change [VIDEO]
An investigation into the Michigan State Police Department indicates that Black drivers are stopped and searched more frequently than white drivers, the department says it will initiate change to end that racial disparity.
The study was conducted by Michigan State University researchers who based their findings on police stops done by the department in 2020.
What Did the Report Indicate?
MSP Director Col. Joe Gasper shared the findings at a press conference.
"The research team found racial and ethnic disparities in the frequency and outcomes of traffic stops conducted by MSP troopers," Gasper said.
The study also factored in data regarding stops made during daylight hours, when officers would be able to know the race of drivers before pulling them over.
"We found that traffic stops conducted during the daylight were more likely to involve an African American driver than those conducted at night," the author of the report Dr. Scott Wolfe said. "Importantly, no such disparities were found for other racial or ethnic groups."
What Steps Will the MSP Take?
The department says it's introducing a five-point plan to end racial disparity.
The plan includes:
- Hiring an independent consulting firm to review MSP policies
- Launching a statewide listening and engagement effort
- Making more data available to MSP troopers
- Equipping all troopers with body cameras by the end of the year
- Initiating cultural awareness training.
"On behalf of the entire department, I pledge immediate action to identify and enact solutions," Gasper tells WXYZ-TV in the video below.