Brooklyn Congressman to NY Police: Too many pot arrests
A Brooklyn congressman pressed police to reduce low-level marijuana arrests after new numbers suggested little change under a mayoral administration that vowed to lower them.
Under scrutiny since soaring to over 50,700 in 2011, the number of arrests dropped about 9 percent, to about 7,000, in the first quarter of this year and of Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration, The Associated Press reported this month.
But the arrests were heading up in March, and the 2014 total still could equal last year’s roughly 28,600, Democratic Rep. Hakeem Jeffries noted. And those arrested still are overwhelmingly black and Hispanic — 86 percent in the first quarter — although de Blasio pointed to the racial breakdown in calling the arrests “unjust and wrong” in campaign literature last year.
“The new administration promised change, but instead we got more of the same,” Jeffries said at a news conference, calling for “a fair and responsible policy.”