On Wednesday, the Missouri Association for Social Welfare is sponsoring a panel discussion on racially biased policing in the Columbia Police Department. According to an article in the Missourian, the panel will include Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton and the president of Columbia’s NAACP chapter as well as an expert on racially biased policing. It will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Activities and Recreation Center.
The article indicates that the Missouri Association for Social Welfare finds this type of policing to be an issue in Missouri and is using a grant received last year to further explore the problem.
The Police Department tracks the number and types of stops made each year based on race, and the 2009 statistics can be found in a link available in this Missourian article. The data is separated into the following racial groups: white, black, Hispanic, Native American and other.
A presentation given by MU professor Jeff Milyo in 2008 concludes that, while disparities by race in Columbia traffic stops and complaint data do exist, the data does not indicate disparities in the treatment of the races, specifically “blacks relative to whites.”
Do you think Columbia’s policing has a racial bias?