Blacks in Ferguson are arrested at three times the rate of those who aren’t black, but according to a USA Today analysis of FBI arrest data, nearly 1,600 police agencies in the U.S. actually have higher arrest rate disparities than the St. Louis suburb.
Those statistics point to larger systemic social issues and don’t provide smoking gun evidence of racial discrimination on the part of police, USA Today reporter Brad Heath writes, but they do beg explanation.
USA Today’s Heath writes of the paper’s findings:
• Blacks are more likely than others to be arrested in almost every city for almost every type of crime. Nationwide, black people are arrested at higher rates for crimes as serious as murder and assault, and as minor as loitering and marijuana possession.
• Arrest rates are lopsided almost everywhere. Only 173 of the 3,538 police departments USA TODAY examined arrested black people at a rate equal to or lower than other racial groups.
Read the USA Today story for more.