I-Team 8

I-Team 8 looks at Carmel police’s new traffic-stop database

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The Carmel Police Department has put up a new online dashboard that lists all its traffic stops from 2019, 2020, and the first month of 2021.

The data is broken down by the driver’s gender, age and race. There is also a heat map showing where the stops happened. The new dashboard follows an I-Team investigation more than a year ago. News 8 reviewed tickets from Carmel police through data from the Indiana Supreme Court. 

The I-Team 8 investigation found Carmel officers ticketed Black drivers at a rate that was almost 18 times higher than white drivers. Carmel leaders at the time disputed the numbers. Carmel Police Chief Jim Barlow said at the time, “It was a kick in the gut. We work real hard to be fair and transparent. I’ve been here a long time, and we’ve been basically called a racist for a long time and it’s very frustrating.”

So, News 8 looked at the data from the new dashboard. The 2019 Census Bureau estimates Carmel’s white population at 83.4% and the Black population at 2.7%. 

In 2019, Carmel police wrote nearly 5,000 tickets; 73 % went to drivers listed as white, and 21.6% to drivers who were Black. 

In 2020, of just under 3,400 tickets, 72% went to white drivers and 23% to Black drivers.

Carmel leaders have claimed the city’s Black population is as much as 11% if you count people who work in the city but don’t live there. 

Carmel Police Department declined News 8’s request for an on-camera interview but said in a statement the dashboard is part of an ongoing effort to improve transparency.


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