Here’s a crazy looking chart on the skyrocketing of number of arrests of black americans for nonviolent drug crimes.


The chart shows that arrests of African-Americans for violent and property crimes have gone down since 1980 but drug related arrests have skyrocketed. Black Americans are 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for selling drugs and 2.5 times more likely to be arrested for possessing them, Brookings Institute found.

When confronted with numbers like these, drug war proponents and law enforcement officials consistently argue that arrests result from crimes committed. In other words, if black people sell or use illegal drugs more often, they will be arrested more frequently.


Part of the explanation, according to the Washington Post, could be that, in black neighborhoods, drugs are more often sold outside, in the open, whereas in predominantly white neighborhoods, the activity takes place inside.

“If you sell drugs outside, you’re much more likely to get caught,” the Post notes.

If you are caught, Rothwell says, it will likely have a deleterious effect on your ability to move up the socio-economic ladder.

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