Report finds continued racial disparities in APD motor vehicle stops

A new joint analysis report released from the City of Austin finds continued racial disparities in motor vehicle stops by Austin Police Department officers.

The report concludes that people of color in Austin are stopped at higher rates than their percentage population in the city.

The analysis was completed by the City of Austin's Office of Police Oversight, Office of Innovation, and Equity Office.

Data was used from APD's 2019 racial profiling report to examine how various racial and ethnic groups in Austin experience motor vehicle stops. It finds racial disparities in stops is still a problem with the Black/African-American community being the most overrepresented of all racial groups in Austin.

RELATED: Continued racial disparities in APD motor vehicle stops, joint report reveals


Last year the Black community made up 8% of Austin's voting age population but experience 14% of motor vehicle stops. 25% of those stops resulted in searches of the vehicle and 25% resulted in arrests.

There was a 1% decline in the overrepresentation of the community from 2018 to 2019 but the Black community had two times more motor vehicle stops per driving population than the white community driving population.

The data showed the Black and Hispanic communities were overrepresented in motor vehicle stops by 6% and 2% while the white community was underrepresented by 6% and the Asian community by 3%.

RELATED: Report: APD searched Hispanics during stops more than any other ethnic group last year

Once pulled over, members of the Black community were three times more likely to be searched.

The data found that the white/Caucasian community were the most underrepresented across all categories. 

APD stop data also revealed warnings and field observations were concentrated on the west side of the city while arrests were made more often on the east side.


The report makes a series of recommendations to move toward greater equality for all communities in Austin. They include working with the community to create a plan to eliminate racial disparity in policing, committing to a goal of zero racial disparity, and making progress in APD's annual racial profiling report.

Following the findings of the report, APD released a statement saying, "We remain committed to eliminating racial disparities among communities of color & underrepresented populations... We recognize there is work that still remains & we continue to make strides towards providing equitable public safety for the entire Austin community."

The full report can be found here.