May 7, 2014
A new report from the Chief of Police takes a look at "stop-and-frisk" rates in the City of Charlottesville.
His report over the last 18 months found that black people are being pulled aside and frisked at more than double the rate of whites.
City Councilor Dede Smith says Chief Longo gave the results at their last meeting.
"About 1 in every 5 resident is African American but 70-75 percent of the police stops are African American. That's an enormous disproportionality that we need to address."
Smith says she has been getting feedback from citizens on this issue since she took office.
"The most disconcerting to me is that this isn’t just in one segment of our population. This is something that’s happening in our entire community of color."
She says Charlottesville wants to attract people of all kinds.
"But how can we expect for people of color, professionals of color to come to our community and be comfortable if there is a reasonable expectation they will be stopped by police just because they are of color."
Smith says this opens the door for a more serious look into the practice.
"We asked Chief Longo for more information about what the reasons for the stops are, what the rights are of our citizens."
She says the next round of information will give them an idea of where to take this next.
"Once we know what the full extent of the information is, it will tell us more about really whether we need an investigation."
Charlottesville's numbers are in line with many cities.
Stop-and-frisk numbers have become something that many localities and police departments are internally looking at.
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