Hispanic and Black drivers traversing Prince William County are searched and arrested more often by local police than other groups, according to newly released police traffic stop data. But local police say they are not yet ready to draw any conclusions from the numbers.
In the last six months of 2020, Hispanic and Black drivers accounted for 74% of 205 vehicle searches conducted by local police officers and 78% of all 175 traffic stop-related arrests. By comparison, white drivers accounted for 26% of vehicle searches and 21% of arrests during the same time period.
Additionally, police pulled over Hispanic drivers using “terry stops” — or pretextual stops — at higher rates than other groups. A terry stop allows police to detain a person based on suspicion of criminal activity. Of the 41 terry stops reported in six-month period, 18 involved Hispanic drivers, 14 involved white drivers, seven involved Black drivers and two involved Asian drivers…
“Once you have the data you have to ask the important questions. First of all, what exactly does this mean for Prince William County? And then, are there things we need to do in law enforcement to change this?”Police Chief Peter Newsham