Majority of New Yorkers arrested for marijuana are Black, Hispanic: city data

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marijuana filephoto

File photo: marijuana

Police arrested mostly Black and Hispanic New Yorkers in 2020, an analysis of NYPD data shows.

People of color comprised more than 94 percent of arrests: about 57 percent of those arrested for marijuana were Black and 35.6 percent of them were Latino.  The city’s population is only about 24 percent Black and 29 percent Hispanic, according to the Census Bureau.

“The data affirm that New Yorkers of color are still overwhelmingly shouldering the brunt of the NYPD’s racist marijuana enforcement while other communities get a free pass,” Legal Aid Society Supervising Attorney with the Community Justice Unit Anthony Posada said.

Black and Hispanic New Yorkers have accounted for out-sized percentages of other arrests in the city in the past. Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, people of color accounted for most of the NYPD’s social distancing arrests.

In 2019, about 90 percent of all jaywalking tickets were issued to black and Latino pedestrians, according to city data.

Posada called for state lawmakers to enact the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. His call comes amid another push by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

Cuomo also pushed for legalization in 2019 and 2020.

PIX11 reached out to the NYPD for comment about marijuana arrests in 2020.

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