So far this yr in New York City, the NYPD has made 6,604 arrests for weed. In reality, marijuana arrests are the third commonest sort of arrest for the NYPD. And these hundreds of arrests aren’t impacting all New Yorkers equally. Rather, they vastly, disproportionately influence Black and Latinx New Yorkers. That’s in line with a brand new report by the Police Reform Organization Project (PROP), a gaggle preventing to vary policing in the town.
Police Reform Group Finds Massive Racial Disparity of Weed Arrests
The NYPD watchdog group PROP took knowledge from public state data to research the demographics of the NYPD’s greater than 6,000 arrests for hashish in the primary six months of this yr.
What they discovered was a slight uptick in the quantity of misdemeanor arrests of individuals of shade. Compared to the primary six months of 2017, in which 86.5 % of misdemeanor arrests have been of Black or Latinx individuals, 2018 noticed 87 % of arrests contain individuals of colour.
But the report discovered an much more surprising disparity. According to PROP’s evaluation of public arrest data, a full 93 % of weed arrests concerned New Yorkers of colour.
That means solely 7 % of all individuals arrested up to now in 2018 for weed have been white.
The report has generated a brand new wave of anger and criticism towards the NYPD. New York police have a documented historical past of racially biased enforcement. So a lot so, that in 2013 US District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin dominated that the routine apply of “stop-and-frisk” was unconstitutional.
Weed Arrests of People of Color Renew Calls For Police Reform
As half of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ongoing efforts to reform the NYPD, officers have began taking coaching packages to deal with implicit and specific bias.
Yet knowledge like PROP discovered suggests the NYPD continues to be concentrating on their enforcement towards Black and Latinx communities. Studies present that white individuals promote and use hashish at the least equally and doubtless greater than individuals of colour.
And the truth that 93 % of weed arrests thus far this yr have been of individuals who aren’t white offers a stark instance of the feedback made by NY gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon when she demanded the NYPD cease criminalizing individuals of colour for one thing white individuals do with impunity.
In its response to the report, the NYPD uncared for to deal with the arrest knowledge offered by PROP. Instead, the NYPD assertion harassed its 90 % discount in stop-and-frisks. It additionally referenced the greater than eight,000 officers that had already accomplished the equity coaching program arrange by de Blasio.
In September, a brand new marijuana possession coverage ought to change how the NYPD handles weed. The new coverage will strap most individuals police discover utilizing or possessing hashish with a courtroom summons. But they gained’t face arrest.
When de Blasio introduced the change in June, he stated it was a direct response to the racial disparity in weed arrests impacting Black and Latinx individuals in New York City.