Racial Disparity in Columbia Traffic Stops Continues to Increase

Jun 1, 2018

Black drivers continue to be overrepresented in Columbia Police Department traffic stops, and the numbers are even worse than in 2016, Columbia Police said in a news release Thursday.

Getting ahead of the Attorney General’s planned Friday annual release of traffic stop data, the department reported a racial disparity index of 3.28 for 2017. The index is calculated by comparing the percentage of traffic stops involving black drivers to the percentage of Columbia’s population that is black.

According to the 2010 Census, black residents made up 9.96 percent of Columbia’s population. If 9.96 percent of traffic stops involved black drivers, the racial disparity index would be 1.

The racial disparity index in 2016 was 3.13. In 2015, it was 2.97.

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