Press Release  | 07/10/2017

Tale of Two New Yorks Endures Under Mayor de Blasio as NYPD Continues Discriminatory Marijuana Arrests

Extreme Racial Disparities Persist as Black and Latino New Yorkers Comprise 85% of Marijuana Possession Arrests, Despite Young Whites Using at Higher Rates

New York, NY: On July 11, the Marijuana Arrest Research Project will release a major report commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance.

The report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York, shows that despite changing mayoral administrations and police commissioners, the NYPD continues to make large numbers of unjust and racially-targeted marijuana possession arrests.

Despite Mayor de Blasio’s campaign promise to end racially-biased policing, marijuana possession was New York City’s fourth most commonly charged criminal offense in 2016.

Black and Latino New Yorkers continue to comprise 85 percent of the more than 60,000 people arrested for low-level marijuana possession on Mayor de Blasio’s watch. Most people arrested are young Blacks and Latinos – even though studies consistently show young Whites use marijuana at higher rates.

The new report shows that the NYPD targets Blacks and Latinos for marijuana misdemeanor enforcement all over New York City. One key finding is that in many neighborhoods where Blacks and Latinos constitute a small minority of the residents, they are arrested in much higher numbers than Whites.

The NYPD arrests Black New Yorkers at 10 times the rate of Whites in Manhattan and 15 times the rate of Whites in Staten Island.

The report includes extensive analyses of marijuana arrest data from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and demographic data for all five boroughs. Additional findings are embargoed until the report release.

What :  Press Conference for release of report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York

When:  Tuesday, July 11, 2017 at 12 p.m.

Where:  Steps of New York City Hall

Who:

  • Drug Policy Alliance
  • Marijuana Arrest Research Project
  • LatinoJustice
  • VOCAL-NY
  • Brooklyn Defender Services
  • Immigrant Defense Project
  • Individuals directly impacted by marijuana prohibition

Contact:

Kassandra Frederique (646) 209-0374
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

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