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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Study results on Gates-Gate: No profiling in Cambridge

The Boston Globe reports that a study conducted in the wake of the Gates arrest found that the police don't arrest African-Americans disproportionately on the disorderly conduct charges he briefly faced:

[A] review of the Cambridge department’s handling of disorderly conduct cases from 2004 to 2009 finds no evidence of racial profiling. Instead, the analysis by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting finds that the most common factor linking people who are arrested in Cambridge for disorderly conduct is that they were allegedly screaming or cursing in front of police.

Of the 392 adults arrested for disorderly conduct, 57 percent were white, and 34 percent were black. That racial breakdown almost exactly mirrored the racial composition of the population that Cambridge police investigated for disorderly conduct, the center’s analysis shows.

Cambridge is 68 percent white and 12 percent black, the latest US Census data show. But multiple racial profiling specialists said the fairest way to analyze the Cambridge Police Department’s conduct was to compare the racial makeup of those charged to that of those investigated and not to the racial makeup of the overall population.

The most striking conclusion of the review of Cambridge police data is that the majority of those arrested for disorderly conduct were allegedly yelling, often screaming obscenities, in front of police before the handcuffs snapped shut. More than 60 percent of the disorderly arrests reviewed by center involved some sort of allegedly inflammatory speech, such as talking back to the police, more commonly known as “contempt of cop.’’ (Source POLITICO)

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