Shame! NYC Cops Spent One Million Hours on Marijuana Arrests Over 11 Years [View all]
Shame! NYC Cops Spent One Million Hours on Marijuana Arrests Over 11 Years: Majority Arrested, Black and Latino Youth
MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
The Drug Policy Alliance just released a study that provides further evidence that big city police resources are being used on victimless marijuana crime arrests, when that time could be allocated to violent offenses. In its press release, the Drug Policy Alliance reveals:
A new report released today documents the astonishing number of hours the New York Police Department has spent arresting and processing hundreds of thousands of people for low-level misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure. The report finds that NYPD used approximately 1,000,000 hours of police officer time to make 440,000 marijuana possession arrests over 11 years….
The report was prepared by Dr. Harry Levine, Professor of Sociology at Queens College and recognized expert on marijuana possession arrests, at the request of members of the New York City Council and the New York State Legislature.
Additionally, the report estimates that the people arrested by NYPD for marijuana possession have spent 5,000,000 hours in police custody over the last decade.
The full report indicates both a public safety misallocation of resources and racial bias:
New York City has made more marijuana possession arrests under Mayor Michael Bloomberg than under mayors Koch, Dinkins and Giuliani combined.
Nearly 70% of those arrested for marijuana are younger than 30 years old, and over 50% are under 21 years old. These young people receive a permanent criminal arrest record which can be easily found on the internet by employers, banks, schools, landlords, and others.
Even though young whites use marijuana at higher rates, over 85% of the people arrested and jailed for marijuana possession are black and Latino.
These arrests are costing New Yorkers more than $75 million per year.
“This report shows that people arrested for marijuana possession spend an average of 12-18 hours, just in police custody, and the vast majority of those arrested are young Black and Latino men from seven to ten neighborhoods in NYC,” said Chino Hardin, Field Coordinator and Trainer with the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions. “This is not just a crisis, but a frontline civil rights issue facing urban communities of color in the 21st century.