86 percent of Brooklynites in court are people of color: report
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.”
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
“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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