Nearly All Student Arrests in NYC Public Schools Target Black and Latino Males

During the summer and fall, police officers in New York City public schools made 63 arrests. All but four of them were of black or Latino students.

By Jorge Rivas Nov 30, 2011

New York City police officers arrested or ticketed an average of four students per day in the city’s schools over a four-month period this summer and fall. Out of 63 arrests in that time period, all but four of them were black or Latino kids, Gotham Schools reports.

The statistics released on Monday came under the terms of the Student Safety Act, a law the City Council passed last year to require transparency about arrests made by the New York Police Department in city schools. 

Gotham Schools has more:

A total of 63 arrests – one fifth of them for felonies – were made and 182 summonses issued in city schools over a span of 50 school days between July and September, according to the data, which the New York Civil Liberties Union published on its website. Most of the quarterly reporting period took place during the summer session, when enrollment is just 10 percent of the school-year total. Arrest totals are likely to be much higher when school is in session full time.

More than a third of the students arrested — 22 — were charged with assault, and more than half of summonses issued were for disorderly conduct. Riding a bike on the sidewalk was the second most common reason cited when issuing a summons, which typically requires a student to take time off of school to appear in court.

More than 80 percent of students arrested were male and 44 percent were younger than 16. All but four of the students arrested were black or Latino.

"The data raise concerns about black students being disproportionally arrested in the city’s schools," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union told Gotham Schools.

The numbers don’t come as a shock to those following the school-to-prison pipeline closely. Last year, 83 percent of suspensions were issued to black and Latino students, who make up about 70 percent of students in the city’s schools.