Ray Kelly for Mayor? A Voters' Guide

In this proudly cosmopolitan city, the NYPD and its leader are far from color-blind

Always open to new challenges, what would Mayor Ray Kelly do to top that?

In keeping with the NYPD's special emphasis on hassling blacks and Hispanics in its stop-and-frisks, during the Marijuana Arrest Crusade, African-Americans—who comprise about 26 percent of New York City's population—made up 52 percent of the arrests, while 110,000 Latinos were busted for personal possession (30 percent of the arrests, and about 27 percent of the population.)

The least-arrested ethnic group—at 15 percent of the arrests—were non-Hispanic whites, though they constitute over 35 percent of the city's population.

Do you see something awry in those proportions? Professor Levine does, since most of the people arrested were younger than 26, and "U.S. Government surveys of high school seniors and of young adults 18 to 25 have consistently found out that young Whites use marijuana more often than young Blacks and Hispanics."

In 2006, "the marijuana arrest rate of Hispanics was nearly twice [that] of Whites, and the marijuana arrest rate of Blacks was nearly five times [that] of Whites." Well, at least the holding cells are integrated.

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