In Des Moines, Black people are nearly 3x more likely to be stopped than whites for the same offense.

Because Iowa has no ban on racial profiling or pretextual stops, racial bias in policing is a key factor in higher rates of traffic stops, citations, and arrests among Black people.

Racially biased policing leads to:

  • Mistaken identity
  • Disproportionate arrests and bookings
  • Harsher treatment or punishment of racial minorities

White people are more likely to:

  • Be stopped less frequently
  • Be trusted by police when stopped
  • Face softer consequences for the same violations

Black residents of Des Moines, who make up 11%  of the population, receive citations from the Police Department at a much higher rate than White residents.

% of all people in Des Moines who have received citations. Read more data.

  • 28.5% Black
  • 12% white


Black people in Des Moines are 2.2 times more likely to be issued a citation for speeding.


Once ticketed for speeding, Black people are 4.5 times more likely to be arrested.


Once ticketed for speeding, Black people are 9.5 times more likely to be arrested for interference with official acts.

Read more data

Racial profiling and racially biased policing disrupts lives and causes emotional trauma.


We’re raising the voices of our neighbors to speak truth and seek justice.

Did you know?

Ask yourself in this eye-opening quiz:

  • What would you do if you were stopped by the police?
  • Do you know your rights?
  • Have you experienced racial profiling?
Get Started

If you’ve experienced racially-biased policing in Iowa, we want to hear your story and we can help you take action. Here’s how.


Help us reach our vision for a just society, free from racial oppression