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Ann Arbor police won't stop drivers solely for minor offenses

Ann Arbor at sunset.
Jodi Westrick
Michigan Radio

In an effort to prevent racial profiling, police in Ann Arbor won't stop drivers for windshield cracks, loud exhaust, a burned-out taillight or other reasons unless there's a risk of harm.

“Our department should be seeking ways to keep the community safe without the appearance of disparate treatment,” interim Chief Aimee Mertzer said.

The city council in the college town is expected to give final approval in July to a similar “driving equality” ordinance, MLive.com reported. But Mertzer issued a statement Thursday making the changes immediate.

The chief said officers will not stop vehicles solely for any of 10 possible offenses that are related to the condition of the vehicle, such as tinted windows or the location of a registration sticker on the rear license plate.

Driving with a sticker that expired less than 60 days earlier won't be a reason to stop a car. A bad taillight is OK as long as the other one works.

Council Member Cynthia Harrison said she introduced an ordinance to change the emphasis of traffic stops.

“The vestiges of white supremacy remain embedded in our police forces, and Black and brown people continue to be disproportionately targeted," she said.

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