The issues for Livonia began in June 2020 when a billboard campaign, on Telegraph Road, just a half mile south of I-96 in Redford, funded by donations and organized by supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement, called out Livonia Police for alleged racial profiling.
Billboard organizer Sara Overwater stated, “We have reached out to the city for records on how many people are pulled over for African American drivers, and they’ve told us their records don’t keep track.” Overwater added, “There are a disproportionate amount of African American drivers who’ve been stopped and many complaints, when you consider the predominantly white community.”
Livonia Police Chief, Curtis Caid, immediately responded that racial profiling is not tolerated in the Livonia department and stated, “We are developing a transparency tab on our website. If there is data that you would like to see – let us know! We have nothing to hide.”
While Chief Caid’s commitment to transparency was spot on, executing on it was harder than anticipated. Five months later, the data tab on their website was live, but did not hit the mark. The data was not in real time, was hard to understand, and contained a myriad of links. Community leaders were not happy.