Using data gathered from traffic stops in the Southwest Missouri region and a multitude of interviews, the Globe found Hispanic drivers were being stopped at a much higher rate per capita than their white counterparts -- even where whites were more likely to have been found with illegal contraband or be arrested when stopped. Out of more than 600 police and sheriff's departments in Missouri keeping records on the race of stopped drivers, several small communities in Southwest Missouri were among the worst in the state -- so much so that many area Hispanics said they avoided driving through those towns altogether. Police in one community even bragged to the town's mayor about all the Hispanics they were stopping.
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