Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal Calls For Action

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal Calls For Action

Attorney General’s Work Lauded, She Joins Call for Legislative Action

JEFFERSON CITY— Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City) today was thankful for the work of the Attorney General, Chris Koster.  His recently released racial disparity report on traffic enforcement included a call to action to improve the process of data collection.

“I thank the Attorney General for his work and analysis of this issue.  He is right, we need to increase the measures of how and what we report and also give the law teeth.  Police departments that routinely exhibit racist practices must be addressed, and there must be penalties for departments that intentionally stop people because of their skin color,” asserted Senator Chappelle-Nadal

African-Americans represent 10% of the population in Missouri, yet account for 17% of traffic stops statewide.  Missouri’s Black drivers are 69% more likely than its white drivers to be pulled over by police.

“Driving while Black has been a crime for far too long.  We cannot fix it with one statute, but we must begin to act,” explained Senator Chappelle-Nadal.  “Further, who knows how many of these extra pull-overs lead to inflated charges and fines, just like we saw in Ferguson.”

While reporting requirements began over 15 years ago, they have not changed since.  Likewise, no legislation has been passed in that time to address racial profiling.  Senator Chappelle-Nadal was the first senator to sponsor legislation that would address police racial profiling, SB 559 (2015), and SB 671 (2016).

“The psychological effects of being constantly pulled over are devastating,” lamented Chappelle-Nadal.  “Can you imagine being suspected of a crime once per year, or more – just because of the color of your skin?  It is outrageous!”