Erica Peterson broke:
Despite the fact that West Virginia’s population is about 95 percent white, a recent study by the state Division of Criminal Justice Services found that minority drivers in West Virginia are 1.5 times more likely to be stopped by police than white drivers. And once those drivers are stopped, minority drivers are 2.5 times more likely to have their vehicles searched.
Senate Bill 649 requires police officers to get either written or audio recorded consent before searching a vehicle. This, proponents say, will make sure that people are aware of their right to say no. Frank Crabtree of the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia says it’ll also provide hard evidence of consent or lack thereof, which will save time if a case goes to court.
Read more on West Virginia Public Broadcasting.