New Orleans Curfew Data: 93 Percent of Curfew Arrestees Are Black

Ramon Antonio Vargas, NOLA, March 28, 2013

New Orleans officials this week released data that show almost 93 percent of the 7,748 children stopped for curfew violations in the city between 2009 and 2012 were African-American. {snip}

The new data also indicate that African-American boys who are stopped for curfew violations are more likely to be transported to the Orleans Parish Curfew Center, as opposed to being released on the scene. Critics of NOPD contend the numbers validate their concerns that the department has been engaging in racial profiling with some of its practices, curfew enforcement being one of them.

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Danatus King, head of the local NAACP and an increasingly vocal critic of the NOPD, added that the numbers behind curfew enforcement in New Orleans are especially worrisome to him in the wake of a recent directive from a police lieutenant that called on cops to stop people on bicycles in “the hood.”

“It’s indicative of a policy of racial profiling,” King said.

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Another NOPD practice–the “stop-and-frisk” policy–has been the target of heated criticisms about racial profiling of late. Two public meetings were held on the topic this week on the heels of reports from the offices of the Inspector General and Independent Police Monitor–one finding that flawed and incomplete record-keeping on the stops made it impossible to determine whether NOPD officers were racially profiling citizens, and the other finding that the department failed to adequately train officers on racial and other profiling.

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{snip} The city’s latest data show there were a total of 1,416 curfew arrests in 2009; 1,838 in 2010; 2,453 in 2011; and 2,041 in 2012.

Of all the minors caught for curfew violations those four years, 5,099 of them were black boys, and 2,098 were black girls. In that same time frame, NOPD arrested 525 white children–313 boys and 212 girls–or 6.8 percent of the total.

The 26 remaining curfew stops involved 19 Hispanic boys and seven Hispanic girls–about 0.4 percent of the total.

Of New Orleans’ 361,000 residents, 60.2 percent are African-American; 33 percent are white; 5.2 percent are Hispanic; 2.9 percent are Asian; and the rest are of other races, according to the Census Bureau.

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About 48.6 percent of African-American boys stopped for curfew violations between 2009 and 2012 were taken to the Orleans Parish Curfew Center to await pick-up by a parent or guardian. Hispanic boys were taken to the curfew center at the next highest rate – approximately 47.4 percent – although they were detained in very small numbers overall.

White, black and Hispanic girls went to the curfew center at rates of 47.3, 45.7 and 42.9 percent, respectively. At 39.6 percent, white boys were the least likely to be taken to the curfew center.

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