The Metro Transit Police Department has released a report highlighting the racial disparities among public transit riders in Minneapolis-St. Paul, namely that Black adults are more likely to receive fines than their White counterparts.
The data collected by the Metro Transit Police Department focused on the amount of fines given to those who could not pay public transit fares in the Minneapolis and St. Paul area, The Huffington Post reports. African-Americans were 26 percent more likely to get a ticket than White riders, while American Indians faced the biggest disparity – they were 152 percent more likely to receive a ticket.
Over 7,000 arrests and citations were reviewed by the MTPD from January 2015 to August of this year.
“The analysis found no significant differences between rates of warnings, citations, or arrests across racial groups for the most serious incidents,” the site reports.
Via The Huffington Post:
About half of transit users are white, about one-fourth are black, and 3 percent are American Indian. The data shows some “statistically significant differences” in cops being more likely to arrest or cite someone rather than give a warning based on race, but the “full circumstances” of incidents that were counted may not be fully accounted for, the report says.
Local police have faced national scrutiny over their treatment of minorities in recent months. In July, cell phone video surfaced showing an officer violently arresting a black man for not paying a light rail fare. In August, a Metro Transit officer tackled a teenager who has an autism disorder at a station. And on Nov. 15, Minneapolis police shot an unarmed black man to death, leading to protests. (The officer who was involved with the teenager no longer works for the department, and other officers have received training on working with individuals who have autism, a Metro Transit spokesman said.)
Following the findings, the Metro Transit said they intend on meeting with the NAACP of Minneapolis to discuss policing changes. It was recently announced warnings would be given to first-time violators.
Officers are known to randomly check passengers’ tickets. Violations for not paying the $1.75 to $2.25 fare can be upwards of $180.
SOURCE: The Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty