Data from the NYS Attorney General’s Office shows that black protestors are much more likely to face serious charges.
Latinx people made up about 13% of the arrests with approximately 8% being hit with felonies.
One public defender’s organization in Manhattan also found that, between May 29 and June 6, only 5% of the 72 people arraigned in “protest-related cases” were white. Almost 70% of those 72 arraignments involved third-degree burglary charges, a nonviolent felony with a maximum sentence of seven years in prison.
“The only folks who were being held were the kids of color, who were being charged with these ridiculous, trumped-up felony cases. And that was just really, really enraging,” said Jessica Heyman, an attorney for the New York County Defender Services.
Furthermore, the Manhattan DA’s office released data confirming that most of its protest arraignments were of non-white people. Among the 484 people arraigned between May 28 and June 4 for “protest and ‘looting’ related cases,” only 30 (6%) were white.
Black people made up about 71% of those arraignments while Hispanic people made up another 20%. About 430 of those arraignments involved felonies, most frequently third-degree burglary.
As black protestors are being arrested and hit with these trumped-up charges, the NYPD is continuing to be hit with several allegations of excessive force, mistreatment of essential workers and detentions of neutral legal observers, fueling calls to defund or entirely abolish the force.