A new report from the Vera Institute of Justice has found that suburban cities saw a higher arrest rate than urban cities, despite having substantially fewer violent crime arrests, suggesting suburban cities are making less progress around policing while bigger cities adopt reforms, reports Axios. In 2016, for the first time in U.S. history, arrest rates in suburban cities were higher than those in principal cities (with populations greater than 50,000). Since 2000, the number of arrests of both Black and white people in principal cities dropped substantially—by more than 35 percent each, the organization found. But in suburban areas during the same period, the number of arrests of white people dropped by nearly 24 percent while arrests of Black people increased by 2.6 percent.
Nationally, Black people are arrested at more than twice the rate of white people. Over the past 20 years, the United States has seen a 20 percent decrease in the overall arrest rate, lower rates of racial disparities in arrests, and lower youth arrest rates. The difference between police treatment of Black people and white people in suburban cities continues to worsen just as suburbs become more diverse with a growing Black and Latino middle class. But suburban cities are slower to diversify police departments like larger cities where Black and Latinos are more politically organized.