93% of detained youth are black: New Orleans police chief says curfew enforcement isn’t racially biased
March 29, 2013
New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says his city’s curfew policies are put in place because children “are less likely to get hurt or hurt someone else” if they are at home during the nighttime. But youth advocates are arguing curfew enforcement disproportionately targets poor, African-American youth.
Serpas denies his officers engage in profiling youths when they enforce curfew laws but data analyzed by The Times-Picayune found that in 2011, 93 percent of youths detained at the city’s curfew center were black. (New Orleans is 33 percent white & 60 percent black.)
A 2000 study of New Orleans’ curfew law concluded that it did not deter crime. The Times-Picayune summarizes the report:
[The study called] “Do Juvenile Curfew Laws Work? A Time-Series Analysis of the New Orleans Law” found that the city’s ordinance was ineffective because it didn’t cover older adolescents and young adults, who often perpetrate crime; and it excluded what are called the “afterschool hours,” when minors are most likely to commit offenses.
In other news about cops targeting black youth, Floyd v. City of New York began this week, a landmark class action suit over NYPD’s Stop & Frisk tactic run on a racially-based arrest quota system.
5 million people have been stopped by NYPD’s Stop & Frisk. 4.3 million were black or Latino.