Regarding the editorial ‘‘State’s traffic-stop racial disparities suggest much work remains to be done” (June 26): Isn’t it time to request the basis for traffic stops from the Missouri Highway Patrol and the local police departments?
I have observed that it is almost impossible to identify a person’s race, and most often gender, when driving in front of or behind another vehicle. Only when driving next to a car can I determine the driver’s race or gender. Automobile headrests cover a person’s head, obliterating clear vision from behind. Also, glare on windows render it impossible.
This leads me to believe that it is speed, weaving in and out of traffic, erratic behavior or mechanical issues that lead authorities stop a car. It may also relate to an outstanding warrant or the car’s license plate or tail light is out.
A question lingers that needs answering. That question is whether racial profiling is involved or if the issue is behavior and personal responsibility. There are instances of race-based traffic stops, but is it the actual basis for the statistics? Truth would benefit everyone.
Helen Louise Herndon • Kirkwood