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Columbia Co. arrest data shows evidence of racial disparities in arrests

Dec 13, 2020 5:45 am
Jeanette Wolfberg is reporting for The Columbia Paper Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett December 2, presented data to the county Police Reform Panel in response to concerns raised over the racial disparity in arrests countywide. According to the statistics presented, in 2019, although African-Americans made up less than 5 percent of the county population, they represented 24 percent of the 1,259 arrests made by the Sheriff's Office. Among those arrested and charged with felonies, 39 percent were black and 22 percent were white. More than 80 percent of those arrested and charged with DWI were white, 10 percent were black. “We do not do any hot-spot policing which targets minorities and certain groups,” Bartlett said. “We do not profile certain ethnic or racial groups to deter crime. We arrest people only for the offenses they commit, not their racial or ethnic background.” The review of police arrest data is part of the ongoing evaluations of local police agencies as ordered by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. Reports with recommendations for change from police reform panels must be filed with the governor’s office by April 1. Read the full story in The Columbia Paper.