Geoff Jones
Geoff Jones

Racial disparity continues in Columbia traffic stops

The latest vehicle stop data from Columbia police shows black people were nearly three times more likely to get pulled over, relative to their percentage of the population.

“Having that disparity tells me we need to look at what’s behind the disparity, and I don’t know what that answer is,” Interim CPD chief Geoff Jones said soon after these numbers were released Monday.

That racial disparity index in 2018 (2.92) is down from 2017 (3.28). Still, blacks and Hispanics last year were more than twice as likely to see their stops result in a search than whites.

Jones says he’s aware we all have implicit bias, but he believes the numbers are just part of the story and need more context.

“I can tell you, in the 20-plus years that I’ve been [at CPD], I have never seen anyone do anything that I would consider being outwardly racist.”

One comment

  1. Anyone ever think that black and hispanic people might be committing more offenses causing them to get pulled over? This isn’t to sound racist or to belittle a potential problem, but when I was a patrolman the offense caught my attention, not the race, color, or even gender of the driver or occupant(s) of the vehicles. If there is indeed a problem then it needs to be addressed…but I personally don’t think that the problem exists as bad as the statistics might show. Yes, there are bad eggs in all walks of life. But this article suggests that the CPD is problematic as a whole. With the amount of training that takes place now within law enforcement, I don’t believe that the while department, or even a large part of it, are targeting stops based on race.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.