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86 percent of Brooklynites in court are people of color: report

September 17, 2019 Noah Goldberg
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More than 85 percent of Brooklynites arraigned on criminal charges in the first six months of the year were people of color, according to a new report from a group that monitors courts citywide.

The group, Police Reform Organizing Project, observed 243 cases in Brooklyn’s criminal court between January 2019 and June 2019 and found that only 14 percent of the cases involved white New Yorkers, despite the fact that white people make up nearly 40 percent of Brooklyn’s population.

“These numbers reflect the entrenched and long-standing problem of stark racial bias in NYPD tactics,” said Robert Gangi, the director of PROP, in a statement. “Every day that New York City’s political leaders sidestep this issue, our so-called criminal justice system continues its abusive and discriminatory practices.”

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PROP performed court monitoring in all five boroughs. The racial breakdown in Manhattan was even starker than in Brooklyn, with 93 percent of the people arraigned in criminal court being people of color. Every borough hovered around 90 percent people of color, though Brooklyn had by far the largest sample size.

The numbers were in line with PROP’s court monitoring over the past five years, during which they have observed more than 6,000 cases across the city and found that more than 90 percent of defendants were people of color.

“Court monitoring, like that of [PROP], helps to expose the harm, persistence, and racial bias of Broken Windows policing,” said Lisa Schreibersdorf, executive director of the Brooklyn Defender Services.

Broken windows policing — which suggests enforcing the laws on minor crimes, like selling loose cigarettes, can help deter or prevent more major crimes from being committed — has been criticized for disproportionately targeting communities of color

“Our data and experience in Brooklyn criminal court confirm [PROP’s] years of reporting and we stand with PROP to call for the end of Broken Windows policing,” Schreibersdorf said.

The most common charges against defendants were assault in the third degree, petty larceny and possession of a controlled substance in the seventh degree, according to the group.

In Brooklyn, 87 percent of the defendants observed were released after arraignment — compared to only 67 percent in Manhattan and 70 percent in Staten Island.

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  1. The Obama DOJ released a report that between 1980 and 2008 Blacks committed 52.5% of the murders in the United States. See “”. That while Blacks are only 12.6% of the population overall. So why the surprise that 86.5% of the people in Brooklyn courts are people of color. After all people of color are a much higher percentage of the overall Brooklyn population. Should we begin to consider that these numbers are not or perhaps minimally the results of a racist system.

    • De Deplorable Doc

      According to demographics Brooklyn is 54% ‘People of Color’, if one lumps together Blacks and Hispanics. I left out Asians from the mix (they are about 12% of Brooklyn’s population) since their criminality based on the stats is negligible. So, yes 87% isn’t that surprising, especially in light that Blacks have a much higher probability of criminal behavior compared to other races.

  2. JohnEngelman

    I think this has something to do with it.


    U.S. Department of Justice
    Office of Justice Programs
    Bureau of Justice Statistics
    November 2011

    Based on available data from 1980 to 2008—

     Blacks were disproportionately represented as both homicide victims and offenders. The victimization rate for blacks (27.8 per 100,000) was 6 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000). The offending rate for blacks (34.4 per 100,000) was almost 8 times higher than the rate for whites (4.5 per 100,000).

  3. De Deplorable Doc

    When you break the law, you get pinched. Increased melanin content in the skin isn’t the target of law enforcement, but unlawful behavior is. Certain melanin enriched types, however, are more prone to criminal behavior. End of story.

  4. honeymoonie

    That’s because ” people of color ” commit more crimes than people who have no color! OK, Goldberg! Whites and Asians-the people who to you have no color-commit far less crimes than the black and brown populations. OK, Goldberg!