Report: ELPD Initiated Contact With African-Americans Is Disproportionately High
New data finds the East Lansing Police Department engages with people of color at disproportionately high rates. That’s prompted the mayor to call for stronger accountability measures.
The report found about 20 percent of the interactions initiated by East Lansing police officers since February have been with African-Americans, a group that makes up just eight percent of the city’s population.
The city council requested the data after a January arrest when an African-American man was injured.
East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier says the numbers reflect anecdotal evidence she’s heard about over-policing.
“I’m just heartbroken by this data,” Beier says. “It’s not just the data that has to change. There has to be some underlying problems that we have to deal with.”
Beier says all sworn ELPD officers will undergo mandatory impartiality training.
She says the city will also create an independent oversight commission to investigate allegations of racial profiling.