Syracuse study reveals racial profiling
Demand end to police abuse
On Oct. 15, a study was presented to the Syracuse Common Council demonstrating that Blacks and Latinos were ticketed or arrested by the police more frequently than whites. This means that white people are more likely to be let go when stopped. The report also stated that Blacks were stopped, frisked and arrested more than twice as often as whites.
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The study, presented by Syracuse University professor William Horace, utilized four years of data. It found that there were 26,841 arrests of Blacks, 12,341 arrests of whites, and 3,261 arrests of Latinos. Blacks comprise 25.3 percent of Syracuse’s population, whites account for 64.3 percent, and Latinos make up 5.3 percent. So while there are more than two times as many whites as Blacks living in Syracuse, in terms of arrests, the figures are reversed with more than twice as many Blacks as whites being arrested.
Syracuse police chief Frank Fowler said that the study’s findings were unavoidable. Based on the “facts,” he said that police are more likely to be dispatched to high-crime neighborhoods that just “happen” to have high minority populations. But the study found that, even in areas with lower crime rates, Blacks were stopped more frequently than whites.
Syracuse has witnessed a recent uptick in violent crime, which is no doubt linked to the worsening economic crisis. The police have been trying to use this fact to deflect any criticism of their operations.
The last time a study was conducted, in 2006, it revealed similar results. Nothing was done as a consequence, however, because the police were left to police themselves. The Syracuse community has been organizing recently to fight back against police abuse, harassment, and brutality. The United as One Coalition, of which the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) is a founding and active member, is holding a speak out against police abuse on Nov. 19 at 1909 South Ave. from 7-9 PM. For more information or to get involved, contact syracuse@ANSWERcoalition.org.