CMPD Explains Why It’s Sticking With Low-level Traffic Stops

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — One day after the Mecklenburg County Sheriff announced changes to the department’s traffic stop policy, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says it is sticking with its policy on regulatory traffic stops.
In a news release, CMPD said it does not intendent to end regulatory traffic stops.  CMPD said they are a crucial investigative tool for vehicle safety and crime management. CMPD said the overall number of traffic stops performed by officers over the past five years has declined with the exception of speeding enforcement.  Around 37% of stops in 2021 were due to speeding, up from 25% of stops in 2017. Equipment and regulatory stops accounted for 43% of stops in 2021 and around 41% of stops in 2022. More than 70% of regulatory stops resulted in verbal and written warnings for equipment or regulatory issues this year.
Sheriff Garry Mcfadden
On Monday, Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden said its department will no longer stop vehicles for low-level violations, such as expired tags, broken tail lights, illegal window tint or revoked licenses.  MCSO says the primary reason for a traffic stop will now focus primarily on speeding, reckless driving offenses or offenses that could cause bodily harm.  One major reason for the change in policy is to reduce racial disparity and profiling.  The MCSO presented statistics at a news conference that shows a black person is 95% more likely to be stopped by police that a white person in North Carolina.