Law | National

Native drivers in Nebraska more likely to be stopped, searched

Native American drivers in Nebraska are more likely to be stopped and searched than non-Native drivers, according to the latest report from the Nebraska Commission on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.

Native American adults represent less than 1 percent of the state population. The report shows they account for less than 1 percent of statewide traffic stops.

Yet 4.9 percent of Native drivers are searched -- the highest rate of any racial or ethnic group. In comparison, only 2.2 percent of white drivers were searched statewide.

The rate was even higher in Lancaster County, which is home to Lincoln, the second-largest city in the state. Even though Native Americans account for less than 1 percent of the population in the county, they were searched 21.4 percent of the time by the sheriff's office, the highest of any racial or ethnic group.

When looking at individual law enforcement agencies, the report continued to show disparities. Native drivers are three times as likely to be searched by the Nebraska State Patrol than other drivers, according to the data.

Disparities were also seen in Douglas County, home to Omaha, the largest city in the state. The county sheriff's office conducted searches on 12.5 percent of Native Americans -- the highest of any racial or ethnic group, according to the report.

And the Omaha Police Department conducts searches over three times as often on Native Americans than other drivers, the report said.

Arrest rates showed disparities as well. The Nebraska State Patrol arrests Native Americans two and a half times as often as their overall arrests, according to the report.

Get the Story:
Report: Blacks stopped more often in Omaha, Lincoln (AP 6/13)

State Reports:
Traffic Stops in Nebraska : A report to the Legislature on Data Submitted by Law Enforcement