Michigan State Police Agree to Independent Racial Profiling Investigation

Detroit today,

Nick Austin

Last month, the Michigan State Police hired an audit firm to conduct a “traffic enforcement policy and program analysis” as part of a settlement with the ACLU of Michigan. . According to the ACLU, MSP data showed that between 2017 and 2019, African Americans were disproportionately arrested by state troopers. The ACLU pushed for the external review in a lawsuit where their clients said they faced a 90-minute search of their car without probable cause.

Earlier this year, MSP acknowledged racial and ethnic disparities in state trooper traffic stops in 2020, while pledging to identify and adopt solutions. The ACLU hopes the audit will help determine whether the MSP racially profiles drivers of color.

“One of the benefits of the settlement we have reached with them is that we will be able to communicate [our] concerns to researchers, as they look specifically at what causes these racial disparities. Mark P. Fancher, ACLU of Michigan


Listen: Why the MSP and ACLU agreed to investigate traffic stopping practices as part of a lawsuit settlement.



Guest

Mark P. Fancher is the staff attorney for the Racial Justice Project of the ACLU of Michigan. He says the data shows racial disparities and hopes more research can reveal the cause.

“We were able to request additional records using the Freedom of Information Act. And we saw racial tendencies,” says Fancher. “One of the benefits of the settlement we have reached with them is that we will be able to communicate [our] concerns to researchers, as they look specifically at what causes these racial disparities.

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