marijuana Arrest rate Disparities along racial lines continue in New York city

june 13, 2019 – NY Daily news

“O’Neill defended the strategy, citing steep drops in busts, and noting that precincts with the most 911 calls have the most marijuana arrests.”

NYC Councilman says 92% of low level pot arrests in city are minorities, citing police data

Taking Commissioner O’Neill’s statement at face value, Councilman Lancman follows-up to ask the Commissioner to address the “extraordinary disparity” in arrest numbers. The same statement — that precincts with the most 911 calls have the most marijuana arrests — was investigated last year by The New York Times and shown not to be true.

Reporters Benjamin Mueller, Robert Gebeloff and Sahil Chinoy dug into the claims and the data and found “The police explanation that more black and Hispanic people are arrested on marijuana charges because complaints are high in their neighborhoods doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.”

City wide, at similar rates of 311 and 911 marijuana complaint calls, marijuana arrest rates are up to 1000% higher in predominantly minority precincts vs predominantly white ones.

May 13, 2018 – NY Times

“after a senior police official recently testified to the City Council that there was a simple justification — he said more people call 911 and 311 to complain about marijuana smoke in black and Hispanic neighborhoods — we decided to dig into the numbers the New York Police Department gave lawmakers to support that claim.

What we discovered was that when two precincts had the same rate of marijuana calls, the one with a higher arrest rate was almost always home to more black people.”

Using Data to Make Sense of a Racial Disparity in NYC Marijuana Arrests

May 13, 2018 – NY Times

“In Brooklyn, officers in the precinct covering Canarsie arrested people on marijuana possession charges at a rate more than four times as high as in the precinct that includes Greenpoint, despite residents calling 311, the city’s help line, and 911 to complain about marijuana at the same rate, police data show. The Canarsie precinct is 85 percent black. The Greenpoint precinct is 4 percent black.

In Queens, the marijuana arrest rate is more than 10 times as high in the precinct covering Queens Village as it is in precinct that serves Forest Hills. Both got marijuana complaints at the same rate, but the Queens Village precinct is just over half black, while the one covering Forest Hills has a tiny portion of black residents.”

Surest Way to Face Marijuana Charges in New York: Be Black or Hispanic