DC Police Release Racial Data on Traffic Stops

New information released by D.C. police shows the majority of people officers stopped during a one-month period this summer are African American.

From July 22 to Aug. 18, police made about 11,600 stops. Of those stopped, 70 percent were African American, 15 percent were white and 7 percent Hispanic.

More than 70 percent of those stopped were male, police said.

African Americans account for 46 percent of the D.C. population, but in a phone call with reporters Police Chief Peter Newsham cautioned against comparing the percentages of those stopped with the general population because most of the people stopped who were driving cars were not from the District.

Newsham also said 80 percent of the people stopped were either ticketed or arrested.

The data release comes about three years after the "NEAR Act" was passed. It requires police to release arrest data.

Activists and civil liberties groups accused the department of profiling African Americans and using stop and frisk tactics.

Over the summer, a D.C. Superior Court judge ordered the Metropolitan Police Department to begin collecting racial data as well as where, when and why people were stopped. The department was also ordered to explain what happened during those stops.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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