Since October 2017, the Racial Profiling Project has filed a number of requests for documents under the Iowa Freedom of Information Act.

The spreadsheets and charts that are presented are derived entirely from records of citations issued and arrests made by the Des Moines Police Department.

  • The records on citations were obtained from the Iowa Department of  Transportation and include all citations issued by DMPD from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2019.
  • The records on arrests were obtained from the Polk County Sheriff and include all arrests made by the DMPD from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2019.

It is important to note the following with regard to the records maintained by the Des Moines Police Department:

  • The DMPD does not maintain readily accessible records on stops that do not involve the issuance of a citation or a resulting arrest.
  • The importance of this is demonstrated by the stop of Jared Clinton and Montray Little in July, 2018.  Since there was no citation issued and no arrest made, this incident would not have appeared anywhere in the data that is being collected by the Racial Profiling Project and would not have come to public attention had Mr. Clinton and Mr. Little not come to Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement for assistance.

Equipment violations

The chart below reflects stops leading to a citation for an equipment violation.  Equipment violations provide a cover for pre-textual stops when the actual intent of the stop is to perform an investigation — including searches without consent or probable cause beyond the equipment violation.

Equipment Violations Probability

Equipment Violations By Year By Race

Speeding Citations

The chart below reflects the racial disproportionality in the issuance of citations for speeding by the Des Moines Police Department and the consequences of such stops.

Speeding Citations Probability

Speeding Citations By Year By Race

The data in the following chart allows for the identification of the number of arrests made by each officer that are related to a citation for speeding. The chart shows only officers who made two or more arrests related to a citation for speeding in the six years for which data was collected.

Arrests Following a Citation For Speeding By Police Officer

Interference with Official Acts

In the six years for which data has been collected, seven percent of all arrests reported were for interference with official acts and Black residents were charged disproportionately.

Interference Arrests By Year By Race

This chart reflects the number of arrests for interference with official acts. The chart is based upon individuals. In total, 43,447 arrests were made during the six years and 2,953 of those arrests included the charge of interference with official acts. Blacks are charged with this offense disproportionally.  You may also find this chart interesting:

Interference Arrests By Police Officer

Police Officer Arrests by Race

The following chart reflects the arrest record for 366 Des Moines police officers for six years for which records were obtained (2014–2019). The chart has been sorted by the percentage of citizens arrested by each officer by race.

All Arrests by Officer By Race

All Citations & Arrests – By Race

This chart reflects the number of stops, of individual Des Moines residents, by DMPD for six years. The original data used to create this chart is adjusted so that a stop leading to multiple citations is shown as one stop.

For each year, the chart represents the number of stops, by race, and the number of arrests related to those citations, by race.

All Citations Des Moines Residents All Years By Race