Center for Policing Equity and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department release results of National Justice Database study
New Haven, Connecticut and St. Louis, Missouri – Today, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) and the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) released the results of a seven-year analysis of SLMPD police practices and behavior, as part of the National Justice Project CPE Database (NJD), the country’s premier database that tracks national statistics on police behavior, standardizes data collection practices, and spurs data-driven reforms to help rethink public safety for all pedestrian stops, vehicle stops and use of force analyzed by the CPE from 2012 to 2019 that were provided by the SLMPD, to examine whether black and brown communities experience frequent or distressing police contact at a rate higher than other groups.
The main findings of the CPE report include:
- The number of use of force incidents per year decreased by 18.2% between 2012 and 2019.
- Blacks were subjected to force 4.3 times more often than whites per year.
- After accounting for crime rates, poverty rates and neighborhood demographics, blacks were subjected to force 3.3 times more often on a per capita basis than whites.
- Blacks, who make up 47.5% of the population of the city of St. Louis, accounted for 65.4% of all drivers stopped during the reporting period.
- Whites, who make up 42.9% of the population of the city of St. Louis, accounted for 32.3% of all drivers stopped during the reporting period.
- The total number of pedestrian stops per year decreased by 82% between 2012 and 2019.
- Black pedestrians were stopped 2.3 times more often than white pedestrians per year on average.
The report also found that neighborhood characteristics played a significant role in shaping racial disparities in pedestrian stops. For example, in neighborhoods with average crime and poverty rates, black and white pedestrians were stopped at the same rates. In less poor neighborhoods, black pedestrians were more likely than white pedestrians to be stopped.
CPE has been engaged in overhauling public safety with St. Louis since 2016, including forging recent collaborations with Forward Through Ferguson, as well as partnerships with the SLMPD, the Department of Public Safety and the Prevention Commission of violence. Today’s report represents a vital phase in the continued partnership with St. Louis to redesign public safety and help communities use their lived experiences and data to demand the fair systems they deserve.
âThe first step in making public safety fair is to identify existing racial disparities in policing,â said Dr. Tracie Keesee, senior vice president of Justice Initiatives and co-founder of CPE. âIn our partnership with the SLMPD and Chief Hayden, we have seen the ministry take a critical step towards equitable public safety, and the results of these analyzes find grounds for optimism, as well as critical areas for improvement. advance our common goal of equitable policing. “
The next step of the partnership is to inform the community of the results of the CPE analysis to promote transparency between SLMPD and the community; improve community awareness and access to the work the CPE does with law enforcement and other stakeholders in their respective communities; and help communities raise and empower their voices to create safer and more equitable neighborhoods.
Community members are encouraged to participate in the Virtual Town Hall hosted by CPE, the Violence Prevention Commission (VPC), the Department of Public Safety and Mayor Jones at 6:00 p.m. CT on September 23, 2021 Community members can RSVP for Town Hall here.
âThe review and analysis conducted by the CEP is greatly appreciated and will continue to be used to ensure that the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Service is moving forward towards accountability, transparency and accountability. ‘increased community participation,’ said John Hayden, head of SLMPD. âAs accountability has been one of the pillars of my administration, I think we’ve made great strides over the past four years to ensure that our department serves our community fairly and equitably. It’s understandable that this guy research can bring on scrutiny and challenge policing practices, however, we take up the challenge to do better and take into account all suggestions from professionals, community stakeholders and citizens.
âThese are important conversations for St. Louis, and I look forward to continuing to partner with CPE and our city leaders to engage with this important and insightful data,â said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. âFrom 9-1-1 data to our policing policies and practices, it is our duty to learn from the past to shape a better, safer and more equitable future. “
Read the full report
Center for Policing Fairness
Saint-Louis Metropolitan Police Department