Traffic Stops in Kalamazoo Decline After Study Reveals Racial Profiling by Police

A study of traffic stops in Kalamazoo that showed racial profiling by police has resulted in a significant decline in stops and citations issued following the study’s public release.

The study revealed that black drivers in Kalamazoo were more than twice as likely to be pulled over by a police officer than a white driver. Although black drivers were ultimately given less citations than white drivers, black drivers were more likely to be asked to exit their vehicles, handcuffed, and have their vehicles searched. Black drivers were also found to possess less contraband than white drivers.

The study, released on September 3rd, is believed to be at least partly responsible for a decline in the number of traffic stops performed by the Kalamazoo police. In September 2012 there were 1,504 traffic stops compared to 833 stops in September 2013. The number of traffic citations issued in that same period declined from 1,105 to 740. This October has already seen 326 fewer stops and 129 fewer citations issued than in October of last year.


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