Mecklenburg Co. Sheriff Recently Changed Policy To Reduce Risk Of Traffic Stops Turning Deadly

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County Sheriff recently implemented a new policy aimed at reducing the risk of traffic stops turning deadly.  On September 19, 2022, MCSO adopted a new policy that deputies will no longer pull over drivers for low-level offenses as the basis for the traffic stop.

Sheriff Garry Mcfadden

“Profiling is real and I am living proof of profiling, ” said Sheriff Garry McFadden during a news conference on October 3, 2022.  “I think that this is one step when talking about helping the communities, to build bridges, we always talk about building bridges and relationships, I think this is one.”

According to the policy change, deputies may charge a driver with regulatory offenses only after having stopped a vehicle for a more serious and/or potentially hazardous violation; however, regulatory offenses cannot be the sole basis for a traffic stop.

Examples of regulatory offenses include financial responsibility violations (i.e. no insurance), vehicle inspections violations, certain driver’s license violations such as driving while license revoked, certain vehicle equipment violations such as improper mufflers, non-working head and rear lamps, window tinting, and a number of other non-moving violations enumerated in the policy.

MCSO is requiring deputies to pass an exam on the policy change.

According to data compiled by Forward Justice, an advocacy group in Durham, black drivers in North Carolina are 95% more likely to be stopped by police.  Data also shows black people make up 45% of the traffic stops in Mecklenburg County, but only make up 30% of the population.