MPD releases racial statistics relating to 2011 traffic stops

MILWAUKEE -- Concerns over racial profiling by the Milwaukee Police Department were addressed inside City Hall Thursday, May 10th. An MPD report, detailing which drivers are stopped and in which districts was released and presented by MPD Chief Ed Flynn.

The state stopped requiring municipalities to collect these statistics about 11 months ago, but a resolution requires Milwaukee police to continue the practice. The 2011 results were released and discussed Thursday.

The data was on display as Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn announced crime, traffic stop and subject stop data analysis, shared with the Milwaukee Common Council's Public Safety Committee Thursday, May 10th.

"We want to share this data. We are hiding nothing. Are there racial disparities against a city-wide census in our car stops and vehicle stops? Yes, and they track very closely with the grotesque disparities in crime victimization, as well as those who are described as suspects in those crimes," Flynn said.

Page seven of the 21-page document indicates the percentage of drivers categorized as being black stopped by Milwaukee police in districts three, four, five and seven are significantly higher than the rates of any other ethnic group.

"It's a little disingenuous to notice that we're intervening with African-American suspects and then ignore the extraordinary number of African-American victims of crime there are in this city," Flynn said.

Sixth District Alderwoman Milele Coggs says while the committee has little power to act on the data, she is grateful for Chief Flynn's efforts to provide the statistics, both to the committee and city residents. "I hear mixed reviews. I have constituents that love the increased presence and that love the Neighborhood Task Force and the attention and decrease in crime that has happened in their areas. I have others who have some complaints and some concerns about everything from searches to stops," Coggs said.

Coggs said she'd like to see additional date in the future, including demographic information on drivers who were ultimately searched as a result of traffic stops, as well as whether those searches resulted in the discovery of contraband.