LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The leader of the Michigan State Police is pledging changes in conjunction with the release of an independent report finding that troopers disproportionately pulled over Black drivers in 2020 traffic stops.
African American motorists were more likely to be stopped than expected under a series of benchmarks, according to the research done by the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice.
The review also says Black and Hispanic drivers were significantly more likely than White motorists to be searched or arrested after traffic stops.
Col. Joe Gasper outlined a five-point plan to better understand and address the disparities.
The department’s 5-point response plan includes:
1. Hiring an independent consulting firm to review MSP policies with an eye toward making recommendations for systemic changes that will address racial disparities.
2. Launching a statewide listening and engagement effort, in partnership with the Bridges to B.L.U.E. Citizen Advisory Council, in which MSP leadership will engage in open and honest conversation with leaders from communities of color, surfacing problems and finding solutions together.
3. Making more data available to MSP troopers through a dashboard that will provide real-time traffic stop data so they can learn about and adjust their actions.
4. Ramping up educational opportunities for troopers and recruits through the creation of the department’s Professional Development Bureau. This new bureau will provide training and development for enforcement members on familiar topics, as well as on new and emerging topics including mental health, wellness, de-escalation, cultural competency, decision-making, implicit bias and communication skills.
5. Issuing body worn cameras to all enforcement members who could have enforcement contact with Michigan residents and visitors.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement in response to Michigan State Police sharing takeaways from its traffic study and response plan: “Col. Gasper’s commitment to addressing these findings is also a commitment to leading by example. All law enforcement agencies should be willing to examine their practices in an effort to improve their relationship with the people they serve—effective public service cannot be reached without constructive reflection. I appreciate the brave members of our law enforcement community and know today’s announcement will lead to positive change.”
You can view the full report below.
Wolfe Et Al MSP External Benchmark FINAL REPORT 2021 745156 7 by WXMI on Scribd