The ACLU People Power Fairfax and other advocates have been asking for demographic breakouts of data for not only use of force, but other key police actions, such as arrests (by category), misdemeanors (summons and custodial arrests), stops and traffic citations. To date, the data has not been published. Set forth below is data ACLU People Power Fairfax has received under FOIA for 2016—2019 for arrests by category of crime, disaggregated by race and ethnicity. We have analyzed it to determine the level of disparity for people of color. See Appendix for further information about data and calculations.
Overall, the disparity in arrest rates for Blacks has increased each year since 2016, from 2.5 to 4 times their representation in the overall population. Hispanics are also disproportionately arrested, at a rate about 2 times that of their population. There is wide variation in the extent of disparity between different crimes. With the exception of pornography, however, Whites are under-represented in every individual category of crime. The trend in the data is disturbing, to say the least. Fairfax needs to proceed swiftly to reform police practices. It also should promptly arrange for an independent study of disparity in arrests and other police actions. The study currently underway is limited to use of force, a critical component of police behavior, but not the only aspect that deserves close examination.
Please see below for the full report.