"Black drivers are estimated to be stopped at a rate that is between 161 percent to 193 percent of their population share and Hispanics are estimated to be stopped at a rate that is 179 percent of their share of the population," states the report. Black drivers are searched 3.6 percent of the time, Hispanics 2.6 percent, whites 0.9 percent and Asians 0.5 percent. At the same time "hit rates" for contraband, searches that led to citations or an arrest, are highest for Asians, at 89 percent, followed by 67 percent for whites, 61 percent for Hispanics and 56 percent for blacks. (Rate of traffic stop searches in Vermont by race)
"The study is the first examining traffic policing and race following a 2014 state law mandating the data collection," Elizabeth Murray reports for the Burlington Free Press. While no state agency has been tasked with analyzing the data, law enforcement officials who attended a press conference Monday where the study was released, "said the data will be useful in examining current practices and informing training and supervision going forward."
Vermont is one the nation's most rural and least diverse states, with 94.8 percent of the population white, according to a 2015 report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Hispanics make up 1.8 percent of the population, blacks 1.3 percent and Asians 1.6 percent.