As gentrification swallows Chocolate City, report finds D.C. cops targeted black residents

Think Progress, May 14, 2019: As gentrification swallows Chocolate City, report finds D.C. cops targeted black residents

Black people in Washington, D.C., were arrested 10 times as often as their white peers during a recent five-year period that has also seen the capital city top lists of the most rapidly gentrifying cities in the nation.

Some 86% of those arrested from 2013 to 2017 by the Metropolitan Police Department were black, a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of D.C. found, even though the D.C. populace was just 47% African American during that same period.

The new figures on policing disparities across the district follow a report this winter that D.C. has experienced the highest “intensity of gentrification” of any U.S. city from 2000 to 2013. More than 20,000 black residents were pushed out of their former neighborhoods in that time, researchers from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition found.

The mass displacement of families of color by economic policy choices and the disproportionately tighter police scrutiny of black residents of the district is likely not coincidental. Indeed, some of the types of crimes that most frequently resulted in a black person’s arrest by MPD officers have a direct link to property ownership and wealth disparities.

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