Arrests, summonses, and serious crimes are all trending downward in city schools, but a new analysis shows black and Latino students continue to be disproportionately subjected to police interventions and handcuffing, even during incidents that aren’t considered criminal.
Those findings come from a New York Civil Liberties Union review of new NYPD statistics on student interactions with regular precinct officers, in addition to their contact with school safety agents posted in schools. Thanks to a city law passed in 2015, this year is the first time those numbers have been publicly released (in previous years, the NYPD only released data on incidents involving school safety agents).
The new statistics add second-quarter data to first-quarter numbers released in July, revealing the persistence of troubling racial disparities over the first half of 2016. Here are six key data points from the NYCLU analysis:
- In the first six months of the year, about 91 percent of school-based arrests, and nearly 93 percent of summonses, were issued to black or Latino students (a population that represents nearly 70 percent of the school population).
- More than 60 percent of all arrests and summonses during the same period were carried out by precinct officers, not school safety agents. “That means precinct-based officers with no specialized training enter schools and arrest children without regard for the impact on school climate,” according to the NYCLU.
- There have been 1,210 school-related incidents where children were handcuffed in the first half of 2016. Nearly 93 percent involved students who were black or Latino.
- Between April and July there were 94 incidents where a student showed “signs of emotional distress” and was handcuffed and taken to a hospital for further evaluation. Ninety-seven percent involved students who were black or Hispanic.
- Over the same period, the city issued 255 “juvenile reports” — which are taken for students who are under 16 and involved in incidents that, if the students were adults, could count as crimes. Ninety-two percent of the reports were issued to black and Latino students. And though only 20 percent of students issued juvenile reports were handcuffed, 100 percent of those restrained were black or Latino.
- There were 44 “mitigation” incidents, in which a student committed an offense and was handcuffed, but then released by the NYPD to school officials for discipline. All of those students were black or Latino.
You can find the NYCLU’s annual roundup of suspension data here.