S.F. Blacks Cited For Resisting Arrest Eight Times More Than Whites


African Americans in San Francisco are cited for resisting arrest at a rate eight times greater than whites even when serious crimes are not involved, say court data analyzed by the San Francisco Chronicle. From January 2010 to April 24 of this year, law enforcement officers cited suspects with resisting arrest 9,633 times in cases where the suspect was not charged with a felony. African Americans accounted for 45 percent of those cited, even though they make up just 6 percent of the city's population.

Supervisor Malia Cohen, whose district has a largely African-American population, said the numbers, “if true, substantiate and quantify what we often hear from residents and (are) a glaring indicator that police, in similar situations, act more aggressively toward minority residents than they do with white residents — warranted or not.” Whites, who make up roughly half of San Francisco's population, made up 39 percent of those cited for resisting arrest. Asian Americans, who make up roughly a third of the population, accounted for just 3 percent of those cited for resisting arrest. Latinos are not broken out as a separate demographic and instead are generally included among whites. Critics say resisting-arrest charges can be used to justify excessive police force by placing blame on the suspect.

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