The mayor came into office talking about the Two New Yorks, reforming the city’s drug policing, and lamenting the racial disparity in such arrests. Oops:
A month ago I noted that, despite a big drop in stop-and-frisk encounters during the first three months of Bill de Blasio’s tenure as mayor of New York City, low-level pot busts were down just 8.5 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013. Another month of data makes De Blasio and his police commissioner, Bill Bratton, look even worse on this front. According to the latest numbers from the Marijuana Arrest Research Project (MARP), New York cops busted an average of 80 pot smokers a day during the first four months of this year, slightly higher than the daily average of 78 under Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly during the same period of last year. Now as then, the arrestees are overwhelmingly (86 percent) black or Latino, overwhelmingly (79 percent) between the ages of 16 and 34, and overhelmingly (73 percent) first-time offenders. MARP concludes that “marijuana arrest patterns in the first four months of 2014 under de Blasio and Bratton are indistinguishable from those of their predecessors in 2013.”
The folks at Bloomberg Rankings, drawing on U.S. Census data, have measured the level of inequality—the Gini coefficient—in each of the 435 U.S. congressional districts. It’s a fascinating list (and a map) that reveals all sorts of interesting things. Here’s one: 32 of the 35 districts in which inequality is greatest are represented by Democrats (Republicans represent two; the other is vacant). These districts are spread across the country, from the Northeast to the Southeast, to the West Coast, and even the Midwest.
Exit tweet: This is what progressive victory looks like. Those grassroots, rabble-rousing organizers: