WYSO

Oakwood City Council Discusses Allegations Of Racial Discrimination In Traffic Stops

Oct 7, 2019

A regularly scheduled Oakwood City Council Monday night addressed a recent report alleging Oakwood Police pull over a disproportionate number of black drivers. The nonprofit legal-aid firm Advocates for Basic Legal Equality report also raises concerns about police officers running license plate checks on black drivers.

University of Dayton Criminal Justice Professor Martha Hurley, one of the report's authors, says it points to the possibility black drivers are being targeted.

"If you’re African American and economically disadvantaged, you have a greater potential of perhaps begin stopped for doing nothing other than driving through the city of Oakwood," she says.

Oakwood Mayor William Duncan expressed concern over researchers' data and findings, but says the city is working with advocates including the NAACP to better understand the report's conclusions.  

"We have some issues concerning the methodology and the data, but we want to reach out and work with them to understand the data," he says. “And once we understand the data then we can make some determinations if we need to do anything to improve our policies and procedures.”

Duncan says Oakwood police officers already receive diversity training and the city maintains a policy on implicit bias.