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.
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.
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I knew we didn’t do anything, but I had this gut instinct in my stomach that this stop was going to go very wrong. And at that point I thought, just try to make it out of that situation alive.
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The cop was like, “You look nervous.” No, I’m not nervous, I said. “You look nervous”, he repeated. You know he was talking real tough-like. “You look like you got a weapon?” Then for no reason, he proceeds to draw his gun on me. . .
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As a society, people see me as a threat. People see me as a threat for literally nothing. For literally nothing. Which is crazy.
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?
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