Skip to main content

Minneapolis police will start recording the race of people they pull over


Officers in Minneapolis will now record the race and gender of the people they stop in an effort to be more transparent.

The Minneapolis Police Department announced this move Thursday, saying it has added a mechanism to squad car computers that require officers to enter demographic information of the person involved in the stop before the officer can clear the call, according to a news release.

Police will be required to do this in a variety of instances, including:

  • Suspicious vehicle stops
  • Suspicious person stops
  • Traffic stops
  • Truancy calls
  • Curfew calls
  • Attempted pick-ups of people wanted for criminal activity

And the information they'll have to record doesn't just include race and gender (or gender non-conforming), they'll also have to take note of the reason for the stop, whether they conducted a search, and the demographic information a 911 caller provided.

Then every quarter, the police department will analyze and then publicly release the data, Chief Janeé Harteau said in the news release, adding:

"The goal is to provide more information and context to data sets that community members may be interested in. Capturing this information will not only increase our department’s procedural justice efforts, we hope it will further increase and promote trust and legitimacy with the communities we serve."

The police department decided to do this after having conversations with community and police groups, including: the Police Conduct Oversight Commission, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, the Chief’s Citizens Advisory Council and the Minneapolis Police Federation.

Not all agencies collect this kind of data

The Minneapolis Police Department's move comes at a time where activists in Minnesota and across the country are calling for change, saying African Americans and other minorities are unfairly targeted by police.

And several studies – both nationally and in Minnesota – show that's the case. Even President Barack Obama has said minorities are more likely to be pulled over and arrested than their white counterparts.

Despite this, not every state requires officers to collect data on a person's race during a stop, The Marshall Project reported in July. That's because there's a "patchwork of laws and regulations across the country."

Stanford University's Law, Order & Algorithms project looked into this, and found 31 states routinely collect data on race (based on officer perception). But the way each state collects the data isn't the same, and many states don't analyze the data or make it public, the Marshall Project says.

The number of states that do collect this data has grown, though. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reported in 2004 that 22 state police agencies required officers to collect data on race for all traffic stops. That's up from the nine agencies that required it in 1999.

As of 2004 (the most recent DOJ report available), Minnesota did not require state police agencies to take down the race of a driver in any type of traffic stop. Although Minnesota does have a racial profiling law, it doesn't appear the state has a law that requires police to record a person's race who is involved in a traffic stop.

BringMeTheNews has reached out to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension for information on how many police departments in Minnesota record the race of a person police encounter.

Next Up

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

st anthony 3 crop

Twin Cities police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old

Police say all her family and friends have been contacted, and none of them know where she is.

mpd suspect 12.3.21 - 1 - CROP

MPD releases photos of shooting suspect, asks for public's help

The man is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting that happened Wednesday evening.

redmons popcorn colbert 2

Support grows for Redmon's Popcorn after shop's sudden closure

The county also commented on the situation, saying it hopes to help owner Zack Redmon.


How do you act if police pull you over, and you're legally carrying a gun?

GoMN has spoken with three organizations who have some guidance for legal gun owners when they are pulled over by the police.