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LMPD Racial Profiling Study Nears Completion

 A study commissioned by Louisville Metro Police Chief Steve Conrad to examine whether racial profiling is a factor when officers make traffic stops is weeks away from being completed, said a department spokesman.The study is a joint project between LMPD and University of Louisville researchers.  In 2012, Conrad ordered the study t0 be conducted to demonstrate what he believes is fair police work being conducted in Louisville.The data used in the study was collected from all LMPD traffic stops from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014, a police spokesman told WFPL in June.Allegations of racial profiling arose recently after four young African-American men were arrested on suspicion of robbery.  A Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict the young men.  One of the men, Tyrone Booker Jr., alleged that "racial profiling" led to his arrest.Related: 'We Still Have a Racial Divide in Our Country,' Pastor Says at Ferguson Vigil in LouisvilleFollowing Booker's comment, Chief Conrad said he doesn’t think “anyone should have a reason to be fearful of an encounter with a police officer.”In addition to the traffic stop study, UofL researchers are also working on a study that looks at citizens’ attitude towards police, a LMPD spokesman said.Just more than $110,000 was budgeted for both studies this fiscal year, and the same will be set aside next year for the same studies, police officials said.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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