WEST MICHIGAN, Mich. — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is and asking Michigan State Police whether troopers are racially profiling the drivers they pull over.
After receiving multiple complains from drivers, the ACLU is looking into whether or not troopers pull over people of color more than white people . Many of the complaints were made specifically about a stretch of I-94.
In the first quarter of 2017, nearly 50 percent of individuals pulled over were people of color, according to records obtained by an attorney of ACLU.
About a year ago, similar concerns were raised, resulting in Michigan State Police adopting a new policies that require troopers to report driver’s racial identities.
The letter was sent by ACLU to MSP on Thursday.
Michigan State Police has responded with this statement:
Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, the Michigan State Police (MSP) enhanced its ability to capture demographic data of persons encountered during traffic stops. This was done so the MSP could have the most accurate data possible to help determine who troopers were interacting with during their daily patrols. When the department implemented this more detailed data collection, our intention was to allow for supervisors and commanders to have more precise data to review should questions arise about suspected misconduct.
Further, a pro-active assessment of the data was also planned, but has yet to commence. This assessment will be conducted in the near future and once complete will be available for public review.
It must be emphasized that stopping motorists without proper grounds or using race to select whom a trooper stops is in direct violation of the MSP Code of Conduct, the MSP Community Relations Policy, Official Order 12 – Recognizing and Reporting Discriminatory Harassment and Civil Rights Violations Involving Department Members, and the MSP Discriminatory Harassment Policy. If a trooper is accused of stopping a motorist without proper grounds, a thorough and objective internal investigation will be conducted.