Study: Dubuque has no racial profiling in traffic stops
Jul. 16, 2017
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — An independent study finds no racial bias in traffic stops by police in a city in eastern Iowa but notes that minority drivers are more likely to be arrested and cited once they're stopped.
St. Ambrose University researchers told The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/2tnZ6jJ) that further analysis is needed to determine if these disparities found in Dubuque signify racial bias. The study from January through May found that minority drivers were nearly 20 percent more likely to receive citations than white drivers.
University professor Chris Barnum said another round of analysis should be done on traffic data from 2016 and 2017 to look for trends.
Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing said he's content with the findings but that his department will continue to work to improve.
"If nothing else, it really got us questioning ... and (I) think it will move us in the right direction," he said.
City Council approved the $25,000 study in September as a way to increase transparency.
Council Member Kevin Lync said he hopes the study's results will ease concerns about the department in recent years amid increasing calls for police reform nationwide.
"I think transparency is key, and I think it's great we have a chief of police willing to be transparent," said Pauline Chilton, president of 4 the People a group that works on local education and civic engagement efforts. "That's a valuable asset for our community."
Similar studies were conducted over the past two years of the police departments in Davenport and Iowa City. Those studies found that minority drivers were more likely to be stopped, searched and arrested.
Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com