Stephanie Seguino | WAMC

Stephanie Seguino

Burlington City Hall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Police departments across the country have come under increasing scrutiny this year. In Burlington, Vermont, a month-long encampment at a park adjacent to the city police department and nightly marches to City Hall emphasized activists’ demands for changes. While the camp has disbanded, city officials are working on policing issues.  At the most recent Burlington City Council meeting, the panel heard reports on racial equity and policing issues.

Professor Stephanie Seguino (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In 2017, University of Vermont Professor of Economics Stephanie Seguino issued “Driving While Black and Brown in Vermont.” The report analyzed traffic stop data by police agencies across the state.  It found significant disparities in stops and searches of Black and Hispanic drivers versus white drivers.  Seguino and her co-researchers have now published an update showing that there is still widespread racial bias in traffic stops.  Professor Seguino tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley that updating the data was motivated both by racial unrest nationally and the Vermont Legislature’s current review of policing policies.