A report released by the Attorney General’s office this week says last year black drivers were 69-percent more likely to be pulled over by Missouri law enforcement than white drivers. Kansas City’s mayor said that report shows there is still systemic racism in Missouri law enforcement.
“It is not mistaken or lost on anyone that law enforcement does not generally look like the communities in which they enforce the laws, most of the time,” said Mayor Sly James. “That is not to say that any individual is racist, but the system itself has been set up to do that.”
James said he hopes the state legislature will respond to that report without politicizing the issue.
“What I don’t want to see is it become so politicized that it simply just breaks down because it’s based on politics and ideologies,” said James. “There needs to be real research and real solutions, and this legislature in Missouri has an opportunity to do something that they’ve not done and I hope they take that opportunity.”
Legislation meant to deal with law enforcement agencies with high racial disparities in traffic stops did not pass out of either chamber of the legislature this year.