New information shows the police are targeting Black people for jaywalking in the biggest city in the nation. The problem isn’t exclusive to one place, though, because jaywalking is an issue for Black people in many cities. The way we’re targeted is disproportionate and unfair in the worst way.
“89.5 percent of [jaywalking] tickets … went to blacks or Hispanics” in New York City in 2019 according to the city’s data. Though the city doesn’t issue these tickets a lot, when it does, it’s often to target Black people. Don’t think that it’s just a New York issue either. It’s happening nationwide.
In Jacksonville, Florida, the city is only 29% Black but Black people are more than half of those charged for jaywalking. In Sacramento, California Black people make up 15% of the population, but we were 50% of those who received jaywalking citations between 2016 and 2017.
The more we understand all the ways that Black people are ensnared by the criminal justice system, the better. A jaywalking citation can lead to unnecessary interaction with the police that means arrest or worse. Authorities know this, and they’re using it to target Black people every day!