Last week the Minneapolis Police announced that they would no longer conduct sting operations aimed at low-level marijuana dealers, citing the large racial disparity in the arrests made through the stings. And now we know just how big that disparity is.
According to Minneapolis Police records 46 of the 47 people arrested in 2018 through the Minneapolis marijuana stings were black. Apparently the Minneapolis police did recognize the issue with these arrests, and decided to end those operations. In addition, the charges for all 47 people arrested in the operation will be dropped.
Now the police didn't do this entirely on their own. A public defender contacted the Minneapolis mayor's office with the statistic, and it was Mayor Jacob Frey who ordered the police to look into the policy.
“I believe strongly that marijuana should be a lowest-level enforcement priority and that it should be fully legalized at the state level,” Frey said in a statement. “The fact that racial disparities are so common nationwide in the enforcement of marijuana laws is one of the reasons I support full legalization.”
American cities across the United States have increasingly begun lowering the priority of marijuana crimes in law enforcement. Just last month New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio demanded the NYPD stop arresting people for smoking marijuana in public. And other major cities are putting their law enforcement resources into areas that are more necessary.
It's just too bad police officers don't just recognize how idiotic arresting so many people for marijuana is without someone calling them out for it.
(h/t The Root)