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Metro PD responds to report that advocates say proves racial bias during traffic stops

Metro police are responding to a report that accuses officers of targeting black drivers for traffic stops.

Despite being 70 years old, Khaos Thomas says he still has frequent interactions with Metro Police.

"In the past 5 years I bet I've been stopped over 20 times in the same area," said Thomas. "They usually come up with something well uh you were going too slow or you were going too fast."

Stories like Thomas' lead the organization Gideon's Army to conduct a study on police stops.

The report "Driving While Black" found black driver's make up roughly 40% of stops despite being roughly 28% of drivers.

"White communities and black communities commit crime at the same rates and that holds true in Nashville as well," Gideon's Army spokesperson Joanie Evans said.

Gideon's Army believes its report proves racial bias in policing.

Monday night it presented that data to Metro Council.

Members also heard a different point of view from Police Commander Terrence Graves.

"When we see a traffic violation we stop them and whoever is in the car is in the car," Graves said.

Commander Graves says his officers are receiving bias training to ensure that stays the case.

He also responded to the report's allegation police are purposely targeting communities of color for extra enforcement.

Graves says police are actually targeting the areas where the most crimes are reported.

"It's really a smarter way to use resources we have instead of just coming to work and driving around and stumbling on something," said Graves.

Metro Chief of Police Steve Anderson also wrote an open letter to Nashvillians regarding the report:



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