Getty Images / Scott Olson / Staff

Black drivers are 85 per cent more likely to be stopped by the police in Missouri than white drivers.

Data released by the Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley on Friday showed that the disparity is at its worst since records began 18 years ago.

Despite being less likely to be searched than black, Hispanic or American Indian drivers, white drivers were more likely to be caught with contraband.

The data, which analysed the rate of vehicle stops in Missouri in 2017, also showed that 7.1 per cent of Hispanics and 6.6 per cent of blacks were arrested after stops, however only 4.2 per cent of whites were.

Reacting to the report, John Gaskin, spokesperson for the St Louis chapter of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), said:

Quite frankly, it's really deplorable. It's why we've ended up in a situation where people are talking about travel advisories and African-American groups are less likely to come and do business in our state.

Ferguson in Missouri was thrust into international headlines for police treatment of black people after Michael Brown, an unarmed black man, was shot and killed by police on August 9, 2014.

The shooting, and then the decision not to prosecute the officer, Darren Wilson, led to months of violent protests, and eventually sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

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