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Independent Consulting Firm Finds No Evidence of Widespread Discriminatory Policing Practices

By Michigan State Police

LANSING, MICH. In the department’s continuing work to research and address racial disparities in traffic stops, independent consulting firm CNA has determined that racial disparities observed in the traffic enforcement activities of Michigan State Police (MSP) troopers do not appear to be the result of widespread discriminatory policing practices.

To assess the department’s traffic enforcement policies and programs, CNA conducted an extensive 18-month evaluation that used document reviews, targeted interviews, focus groups, ride-alongs and quantitative data analysis. CNA’s report, which the MSP commissioned as part of its five-point plan announced in January 2022 to address racial disparities in its traffic stops, focused on how the department recruits, hires, instructs, trains and supervises troopers, as well as the organizational factors relevant to traffic enforcement and equitable policing.

“As a law enforcement agency, we are committed to fair and equitable policing,” stated Col. James F. Grady II, director of the MSP. “Although previous research conducted by the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has identified the presence of racial and ethnic disparities in MSP traffic stops, the reasons for such disparities remain unknown. Discriminatory behavior is not an acceptable practice within this agency and anyone engaging in it will be addressed through training, discipline or termination, dependent on the circumstances of the incident. Today, as always, we reaffirm our commitment to the highest standards of anti-discrimination education and training and always look to serve Michigan to the best of our ability.”  

CNA’s report includes 54 findings and associated recommendations. Some of the findings and recommendations highlight strong policies and positive programs that, in the opinion of CNA, the MSP should maintain and build upon, while other findings and recommendations emphasize policies and programs that require greater attention and improvement.

The MSP has fully reviewed the report and provided a response to each finding and recommendation. To access MSP’s response and a copy of the report, visit https://www.michigan.gov/msp/public-information/transparency/accordion/reports/traffic-stop-data-main.

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