Records gathered from local police suggest in some communities, people who are Black or African American were arrested at disproportionately high rates, relative to their overall share of the population, reports NBC Boston. In Cambridge, for example, close to 40 percent of all people arrested during a recent 10-year period were Black, according to data the police departments submitted to the state. Black people comprise a much smaller share of the city’s population — a little more than 10 percent, according to figures from the U.S. Census.
The arrest data is from police department records gathered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security per a 2018 criminal justice reform law meant to increase transparency in policing. Across 273 communities, about 15 percent of all people who were arrested were Black or African American. By contrast, the residential population of those communities was about 6 percent Black/African American. Statewide, an estimated 8.2 percent of people are Black/African American.