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First-of-its-kind report looks into racial profiling in traffic stops

Chief Chris Skinner said he is happy about the results, but more still has to be done.

Posted: Dec 3, 2019 6:33 PM
Updated: Dec 3, 2019 6:41 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Oregon Criminal Justice Commision released the first-ever report on traffic and pedestrian stops made by the top 12 police agencies in the state with the goal of evaluating them for potential racial discrimination.

The numbers from the report suggest that the Eugene Police Department isn't targeting minorities when pulling people over. The percentages are pretty even across the different groups. Data shows the department had the second-highest stops leading to a search or an arrest in the state, but there were no concerns of racial discrimination.

Chief Chris Skinner said he is happy about the results, but more still has to be done.

“This is not a destination conversation, this is a journey conversation,” Skinner said. “There is still a lot more we can do to improve how we interact with the community we serve.”

The NAACP chapter in Eugene agreed with the need for improvement, even though they too are happy with the results.

Eric Richardson, president of the Eugene-Springfield NAACP chapter, said he still gets calls about racial discrimination during traffic stops.

"It's always good to hear when the numbers are showing more responsive policing. Also, understanding that racial disparities is something that is a long-term issue that the community is concerned about," Richardson said. 

The study looked at traffic and pedestrian stops from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. This report is now mandated yearly after House Bill 2355 passed in 2017, requiring more transparency in law enforcement agencies when it comes to racial discrimination.

To read the full report, click here.

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