Racial Disparities In Traffic Stops Shrink, But Don't Disappear, In 2017 State Police Data

Jun 19, 2018

Racial disparities in traffic stops by Vermont State Police are improving, but there are still gaps between the rate at which white and black drivers are stopped and searched.

That’s the key takeaway from data released Monday by the state police. It covers traffic stops made in 2017.

Compared to the previous year, a smaller percentage of black drivers had their car searched when they were pulled over.

Still, the percentage of black drivers who were searched remained more than double that of white drivers.

Tabitha Pohl-Moore, president of the Rutland-area NAACP and a member of the state’s Fair and Impartial Policing Committee, said the state police are working to address apparent bias among some troopers.

"One of the things that VSP does is track data by trooper. They are having conversations with troopers whose statistics look a little out of place. So they are talking with those folks to find out what's going on," Pohl-Moore said.

Tabitha Pohl-Moore spoke to VPR's Henry Epp. Listen to their full conversation above.