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Analysis: Black drivers likeliest to be stopped in Virginia

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NORFOLK, Va. – A newspaper’s analysis of state data shows that across Virginia, Black drivers are the only racial or ethnic group stopped by police at a higher rate than their share of the population.

Black drivers in Hampton Roads and across Virginia were also more likely to be stopped and searched by police than any other racial or ethnic group, according to The Virginian-Pilot’s analysis of data recently released as part of a law enacted by the General Assembly in 2020.

The Virginia Community Policing Act requires police to collect and report information on every traffic stop they conduct.

While Black people make up about 20% of the state’s population, Black drivers accounted for about 31% of traffic stops statewide, according to the data. White drivers made up 63% of stops statewide; white people are 69% of the population.

Several Hampton Roads police agencies told the newspaper they regularly review data, including traffic stops, as a way to monitor and improve their practices.