OHP Uses Drug-Sniffing Dogs When Stopping Black Motorists More Than When Stopping White Motorists

May 8, 2018


Records obtained by the Associated Press show the Ohio Highway Patrol uses drug-sniffing dogs during traffic stops involving black motorists  at a higher rate than those involving white motorists. 

Black comprised 28 percent of the nearly 17 thousand stops where dogs were used from 2013 to 2017. Blacks make up 13 percent of the population. The patrol says dog usage is based on "criminal indicators" such as the origin and destination of trips, visible contents in vehicles and statements by occupants. The issue arose recently when a federal appeals court questioned the patrol's traffic stop of a black driver on the Ohio Turnpike.  In a hearing, a trooper testified he took a drug-sniffing dog more often to stops with minorities.