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Mid-Michigan pastor: Michigan State Police study on racial disparities only confirms what people already knew

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Michigan State Police traffic stop study

MID-MICHIGAN, Mich. (WJRT) - A mid-Michigan pastor says the new Michigan State Police study on racial disparities in traffic stops only confirms what people already knew.

The report reveals that black drivers are more likely to be pulled over, searched and arrested than people of other races.

Pastor Daniel Moore in Flint applauds the Michigan State Police for taking initiative in the commission of the independent study.

"We are in a current moment that calls for every law enforcement agency in this country to take a hard look at internal and external standards for police," said Michigan State Police  Director Col. Joe Gasper.

Michigan State Police, commissioned an independent study, conducted by Michigan State university. Using data from provided by Michigan State Police, the study concluded there were racial disparities in traffic stops.

"While this report reveals that disparities do exist it is not a commentary on the integrity of individual troopers," said Gasper.

According to the report, more than 75% of all traffic stops in 2020 that happened in cities with partnerships with Michigan State Police, like Flint, involved an African American driver. 

Daniel Moore is the pastor of Shiloh Church in Flint he's also a member of the the task force that brings Michigan State Police and community members together to bridge gaps. Pastor Moore says the study is a good first step for the agency.

"We were very proud as a task force to see our MSP take that initiative," said Moore. 

And Moore says to provide some next steps to address the issues. Michigan State Police released a list of five action steps including issuing more body cameras.

"To say that you know that we got to get everybody with body cameras so that both sides of any incident are seen clearly I thought you know I agree all five points but for me that one just stood out," he said.

The pastor hopes the release of the report will help in building trust between Michigan State Police and the community. 

Michigan State Police Director Gasper said that researchers will now take a closer look at *why* these disparities are happening.

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