ACLU: Black people arrested more than whites in Minneapolis

Published 10:24 am Thursday, May 28, 2015

MINNEAPOLIS — Black people are nearly nine times more likely to be arrested for low-level offenses in Minneapolis than white people, while American Indians are also far more likely to be arrested than their white counterparts, according to an analysis of city police data released Thursday.

The study was conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota. It examined 96,975 arrests by the Minneapolis Police Department from Jan. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2014, and focused only on low-level crimes such as minor driving offenses, curfew violations, public consumption or trespassing.

The ACLU found that white people make up 64 percent of the Minneapolis population, but 23 percent of low-level arrests. Black people account for 19 percent of the population and 59 percent of the low-level arrests.

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“We’ve become the new South,” said Anthony Newby, executive director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change in north Minneapolis. “We’ve become the new premiere example of how to systematically oppress people of color.”

The Minneapolis Police Department said it was reviewing the report and Chief Janee Harteau planned to address the media Thursday.