Ann Arbor, Michigan – The Ann Arbor Police Department will no longer conduct traffic stops for equipment violations, the interim chief announced Thursday, in an effort to build trust with the city’s minority population — just a day after an ordinance of the very same policy was introduced by city council to be written into the city code.
Citing an extensive body of research, the ordinance points to the disparate outcomes of traffic stops that Black, Indigenous and people of color experience — making interactions with police, even for minor infractions, laced with trauma.
The Detroit Free Press reported that the ordinance received unanimous support at the city council meeting Tuesday night and is expected to pass when it is voted on at the council’s July 6 meeting.
Because of this overwhelming support, Ann Arbor Police Interim Chief Aimee Metzer announced the measure will be implemented immediately.
“In an effort to continue building trust and providing equitable service to all, our department should be seeking ways to keep the community safe without the appearance of disparate treatment,” Metzer said in the statement. “I believe it is the intention of every person within this department to provide fair and impartial service to the City of Ann Arbor. I believe we will be able to continue doing this within these new parameters.”
Under the new measure, officers are prohibited from stopping drivers based on equipment violation offenses — except in instances where the violation poses an immediate risk of danger — including: tinted windows, cracked or chipped windshield, loud exhaust, object hanging from the rearview mirror, tail light issues (one must be functional), registration plate issues (lighting, placement, sticker location, expiration less than 60 days).
The decision by the agency comes at a time in America where traffic deaths have spiked.