Traffic stops involving minorities down in Davenport, some still concerned

DAVENPORT, Iowa - Results from a new study show the number of traffic stops in Davenport, involving minorities is down.

It's been a national issue and a local one.

"Profiling on any level is wrong and it don`t need to happen," said Elder Daniel Teague, community member and founder of the Boots on the Ground coalition.

For five years St. Ambrose University has studied Davenport traffic stop statistics after the city saw a dramatic increase in the number of times minorities were pulled over. In 2014, there was spike in those stops.

However, last year it's the total opposite, the number of stops involving minorities have dropped as total stops citywide was cut in half.

There could be a few reasons why. When the study first started the police department patrolled differently. Police would concentrate traffic stops in areas of higher crime, looking for illegal activities. That's not the case now.

"We`re statistic driven, we`re data driven, we look for specific crime trends and do enforcement that way," said police chief, Paul Sikorski.

Chief Sikorski says it could also be a case where officers are afraid of facing scrutiny, "There`s no way for me to really tell right now whether that`s a factor, but that`s something I`m going to look into."

While over all the report was positive news for some, others are still concerned.

"If you see a drug dealer in the community because he sells less drugs don`t mean what he is doing is right, so we got to look at it from that aspect not just because the numbers are low," said Teague.

Since the study started, the Davenport police department has required training for officer, including discrimination and bias policing.