Racial Bias In NJ Traffic Stops To Be Addressed, Attorney General Says

A study of more than 6 million traffic stops shows “concerning racial and ethnic disparities” in how state police choose to act, said the AG.

NEW JERSEY — State police are under scrutiny as New Jersey’s top cop seeks to reduce what he calls “concerning racial and ethnic disparities” in troopers’ traffic enforcement actions.

A study commissioned by the Attorney General’s Office found that between 2009 and 2021, the percentage of Black and Hispanic motorists stopped by state police has increased over time – from 35.34 percent of all motorists stopped by NJSP in 2009 to 46.28 percent in 2021.

Black drivers, in particular, are much more likely to have their vehicles searched – though they are less likely to actually possess evidence, according to AG Matthew J. Platkin’s office.

A new pilot program will involve all New Jersey State Police officers who regularly conduct motor vehicle enforcement actions, said Platkin on Tuesday.

The program has three purposes: to reduce the number of fatal traffic crashes, increase officer and roadway safety, and work to “reduce concerning racial and ethnic disparities identified in motor vehicle enforcement actions taken by the New Jersey State Police.”

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