HARTFORD, Conn. – The collection of police traffic stop data around the country has exposed a divide among law enforcement officials on how to respond to the numbers, which consistently show blacks and Hispanics are pulled over at higher rates than whites.
Some police chiefs have taken action, including reducing stops for broken tail lights and other defective equipment that snare more minorities than whites.
Other officials question assumptions made about the data, saying their officers are enforcing the laws and not targeting people based on race or ethnicity.
Civil rights advocates and data researchers say there is a wide variety of thought by police leaders about the value of traffic stop data. But they say departments that have taken action have reduced racial disparities and improved relationships with their communities.