NEW YORK-It is a known fact that while African Americans and white Americans use marijuana at the same statistical rate, African Americans are arrested for marijuana use at a much higher rate. Despite the fact that New York City is 60% white, white people only amount to 10% of all NYC marijuana arrests.
WNYC has a report on how the NYPD gets away with illegally arresting people for marijuana and gets away with it.
Rucker (Photo left) said her office throws out 10 to 15 misdemeanor marijuana cases everyday because the police paperwork states the marijuana was actually not in public view. These cases she chalks up to honest mistakes. But if a cop lies in his report – and fails to mention that the marijuana was actually found in someone’s clothing – Rucker said there’s no way for her office to know that without a further investigation.
That creates a substantial problem for defendants who were wrongfully arrested. Rucker said in most cases, prosecutors don’t even interview arresting officers until after a defendant is arraigned – but she said too many defendants plead guilty right at their first court appearances. Therefore, Rucker said defendants who think they’ve been illegally searched or otherwise improperly arrested have to stand up for themselves right at the beginning of a case.