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Stop Data Report: 2020


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

In July 2019, the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Department of Motor Vehicles launched new data systems and related policy and training to allow the collection of more data in discrete fields and enable greater data analysis of police stops. Transparency around this information is critically important to public trust. This is the second public report on this data and how it will be used to improve policing in the District. MPD is committed to ensuring that each police stop meets its high standards for fair and constitutional policing and demonstrates respect for the individual stopped.

As you review this data, we ask readers to recognize there are limits to what questions can be answered with just this data set. In order to provide a snapshot of the data to the public, this report is brief, but presents some major data points from the comprehensive data set. The report also highlights the research plan that will seek to answer important questions and inform potential changes to police practices. We encourage members of the public to review and continue to analyze the data.

Key Findings:

  • The stops had a purpose and legal grounding.
    Eighty-two percent of the stops resulted in immediate enforcement action, either a ticket (61%) or an arrest (21%).

  • The stops included many people traveling in or through the District.
    Only 33 percent of the vehicles stopped and issued tickets for traffic violations were registered in the District; 67 percent were registered in another state

  • Most stops were resolved without any physical contact between the officer and the person stopped or his or her property.
    Only 13 percent of stops involved a protective pat down (sometimes called a frisk) or a pre-arrest search of either a person or property.

  • MPD stops play a vital role in supporting Vision Zero and making our streets safe for all users.
    Sixty-one percent of all stops result in a ticket, and 18 percent of arrests include a charge for a criminal traffic violation.

  • MPD stops can help remove guns from our neighborhoods.
    Violent gun crime remains the city’s most pressing public safety problem. MPD officers are able to remove a significant number of guns from DC streets as a result of these stops.

  • The stops were brief.
    More than three out of four were resolved in about 15 minutes; 92 percent lasted 30 minutes or less.

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