- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 28, 2015

Minneapolis city police are more likely to arrest minorities for low-level criminal offenses, said the American Civil Liberties Union, which called on the city’s law-enforcement to strengthen its ban on racial profiling and create a civilian review body that has authority to discipline officers when necessary.

The ACLU analyzed more than 96,000 low-level police arrests made by Minneapolis police from January 2012 to September 2014 and found they were 8.7 times more likely to arrest black people than white people for minor criminal offenses. Native Americans were 8.6 times more likely than white people to be arrested for such offenses.

Minneapolis police show the same patterns of racial bias that we’re seeing across the country and that demand reform,” said Emma Andersson, staff attorney with the ACLU in a statement. “In Minneapolis, the eyes of the law look at blacks and Native Americans differently than whites. The resulting injustices — more fees and fines, more time in jail, more criminal records — hurt Minneapolitans and undermine public safety.”

Low-level criminal offenses are typically accompanied by a fine of $3,000 or less or up to one year in jail, according to a ACLU statement.

The group’s analysis also takes a look at how the actions of Minneapolis police affect the city’s homeless population and its young people.

Young blacks, ages 17 and under, are 5.8 times more likely to be arrested for low-level criminal offenses than white young people in the same age range, the study found.

Police also arrested black youth disproportionately for curfew violations, according to the statement. The analysis shows that 33 children under age 10 received curfew citations, 20 of whom were black.

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