San Francisco police: 47 percent of 2009-2014 arrests were blacks 

Forty-seven percent of all people arrested by San Francisco police from 2009 to 2014 were black, according to a department facing tough criticism over recent revelations that a handful of officers sent bigoted text messages.

Roughly 6 percent of The City’s population is black, according to 2013 Census numbers.

The ethnic breakdown of people arrested in San Francisco was part of an analysis discussed by department officials during a police commission meeting Wednesday night. The goal of the report was look at alleged racial profiling by the department’s officers.

The presentation of analysis, which looked at overall arrests, drug arrests, juvenile arrests and traffic stops, wasn’t completed Wednesday because audience members complained they couldn’t see the statistics projected. Officials said the information would be brought back at another meeting

Instead of comparing the rate of arrests by ethnicity compared to the racial breakdown of The City’s population, the analysis compared the ethnicity of suspects identified by reporting parties and the ethnicity of those arrested.

Since hundreds of thousands of non-residents come into The City daily, the department decided not to compare arrest rates with The City’s ethnic make up.

For instance, the analysis noted that 43 percent of all suspects were identified as black compared to 47 percent of those arrested.

Comparatively, 19 percent of all suspects were identified as Hispanic but 32 percent of those arrested were Hispanic. Seven percent of suspects reported were Asian while 6 percent of those arrested were Asian. Thirty one percent of suspects identified by ethnicity were white and 31 percent of those arrested were white.

The analysis also showed that 53 percent of all drug arrests were of blacks and 62 percent of all juvenile arrests were black.

The raucous crowd, mostly there to voice their anger at what they see as a lack of effort to reform biased policing, took issue with the way the statistics were being presented.

“Racial profiling is obvious,” said Cornelius Wigfall. “We live it everyday.”

The report given on the analysis didn’t give a breakdown of the number of blacks pulled over in traffic stops, but the commission said it plans to reschedule the presentation so that the audience can be provided with paper copies instead of having to try and read the small print on the projection.

Marion Jackson, a retired San Francisco police officer, and one of the founders of Officers for Justice, said he was not surprised at the numbers. “It’s the same every year,” he said, noting that no matter how you present those numbers, they don’t make the department look good. .

About The Author

Jonah Owen Lamb

Jonah Owen Lamb

Born and raised on a houseboat in Sausalito, Lamb has written for newspapers in New York City, Utah and the San Joaquin Valley. He was most recently an editor at the San Luis Obispo Tribune for nearly three years. He has written for The S.F. Examiner since 2013 and covers criminal justice and planning.
Pin It

Speaking of...

More by Jonah Owen Lamb

Latest in Bay Area

© 2019 The San Francisco Examiner

Website powered by Foundation