Ohio State Highway Patrol uses drug dogs more often with black drivers

Records show the Ohio State Highway Patrol uses drug-sniffing dogs on stops involving black drivers at a higher rate than stops involving whites.

Patrol data show blacks made up 28 percent of the nearly 17,000 stops where dogs were used from 2013 to 2017, although blacks make up about 13 percent of the population.

The patrol says dog usage is based not on race but on “criminal indicators” such as the origin and destination of trips, visible contents in cars and statements by occupants.

The issue arose recently when a federal appeals court questioned the patrol’s traffic stop of a black driver on the Ohio Turnpike.

In a hearing, a trooper testified he took a drug-sniffing dog more often to stops with minorities.

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