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Is Race a Factor of Making an Arrest?

Posted on: December 10th, 2014 by Chicago Police Misconduct Attorney

USA Today recently investigated data, and all indicators are pointing to race being a definitive factor in determining a person’s chance of being arrested in the U.S.  Although this has been a widespread assumption by many, this issue has become more relevant than ever, in light of the allegations of excessive force being utilized by a police station that is mostly white in Ferguson, Mo. against the black community.

This data showed that that close to 1,600 police departments in the U.S. in 2012 arrested black people at a rate of, “nearly three times higher than people of other races.”  This rate is higher than those of the Ferguson Police Department, which had an arrest rate per 1,000 residents in 2012 of 186% for blacks and 66% for non-blacks.  Although many of these police departments contain officers of mixed races, the arrest rate for black people is consistently higher than any other race.

The Chicago Police Department is among the police departments in the U.S. who had an arrest rate in 2012 per 1,000 residents equaling 197% for blacks and only 36% for non-blacks.  This is an enormous inequality, especially when compared to the arrest rates of those in Ferguson, MO.   Experts have speculated on several explanations for this discrepancy in the arrest rates between blacks and other races, but it seems that the irrefutable truth is that black people are more likely to be arrested than any other group in the United States.