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Report finds MSP traffic stops racially disproportionate, not discriminatory

State of Michigan

The independent report states that minority motorists are disproportionately stopped by Michigan State Police officers due to an “informal quota system”

The 2024 report conducted by Virginia-based consulting firm CNA Corporation, was commissioned by state officials after an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union found that Black motorists comprised 17 to 20 percent of state police stops from 2017 to 2020.

The report titled Michigan State Police Traffic Enforcement: An Assessment of Policies, Training and Operations, states that minority motorists are disproportionately stopped by MSP officers due to an “informal quota system,” a policy allowing troopers to decide where they patrol.

The report found that troopers tend to patrol urban areas, increasing stops. Troopers stated that entries in their daily logs needed to be made every 20 to 30 minutes. Failure “could affect their employee evaluations. As urban areas are more likely to contain non-White residents, this may inadvertently lead to disparate stops.”

Lieutenant Michelle Robinson with the MSP says that the report does show areas that can be improved upon.

“Any time that you seek out a third-party individual that is looking at the overall dynamics of an agency, I think that’s good because all of us have room for improvement.”

Robinson went on to say that the agency will continue to evaluate why those disparities exist and make appropriate changes.

“I believe that MSP is going to take these recommendations very seriously and try and make our agency that much better.”

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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