by Robert Gangi, PROP Director
de Blasio / Bratton Administration Continue Biased Arrests Practices of the Bloomberg / Kelly Tenure.
Petty Charges Against People of Color Dominate the Numbers, PROP Reports.
Over 70% of the NYPD Arrests for the first 7 months of both 2013 & 2014 Were for Misdemeanors. Less Than 30% for Felonies.
In the First 7 Months of 2013, the NYPD Made 136,208 Misdemeanor Arrests, 87.0% Involving People of Color. The Comparable Numbers for This Year: 137,039 Arrests, 86.2% Involving People of Color.
The Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) released statistics today demonstrating that the NYPD’s arrest practices under Mayor Bill de Blasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton continue to focus on petty infractions and to target people of color. Despite his sharp criticism of his predecessor’s policing policies, NYC’s new mayor has overseen the same aggressive quota-driven “broken windows” policing that prevailed during the Bloomberg / Kelly years.
“These arrest numbers show,” said Robert Gangi, director of PROP, “that racially skewed ‘broken windows’ policing persists as the central law enforcement approach in New York City. Unfortunately, these practices continue not only to inflict harm on and to fuel anger and resentment in low-income communities of color, but also to divert needed police personnel and resources from addressing the serious felonies that beset certain areas in our city.”
Here are some numbers culled from the January through July statistics prepared by the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services and sent to PROP in recent days:
• Total misdemeanor arrests for New York City in 2013: 136,208; in 2014: 137,039
• Percentage of persons charged with misdemeanors who are people of color: 87.0% in 2013; in 2014: 86.2%
• Percentage of people charged with felonies who are black: 49.7% in 2013; in 2014: 50.7%
• Percentage of misdemeanor marijuana arrests involving people of color in 2013: 90.1%; in 2014: 90%
• Percentage of misdemeanor trespass arrests involving people of color in 2013: 91%; in 2014: 90.6%
“During last year’s mayoral campaign, Bill de Blasio spoke eloquently and effectively about the urgent need to address NYC’s social, economic, and racial inequities. Yet ‘broken windows’ policing, which he publicly supports, is the “Tale of Two Cities” writ large — our mayor cannot make progress in resolving those problems without moving the NYPD away from its current aggressive and punitive approach to a collaborative kind of community-oriented policing.”