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Is there a problem in the Charlotte NC area when it comes to arresting blacks for a simple pot possession charge?

Take a look at the image above.  That’s a bubble chart of pot arrests (arrests for possession of marijuana  < 1/2 ounce) for the years 2008-2013 in North Carolina.  Now take a closer look at the 2 bubbles for Mecklenburg County.  There is a giant orange one (blacks arrested), and a much smaller pink one (whites arrested).  Now take a look at the graph below, which is the same dataset displayed in columns instead of bubbles.

 

mecklenburg-county-pot-arrests-bar-chart

According to the dataset that we have, 80% of the people arrested for marijuana charges in Mecklenburg County (ie, Charlotte NC) from 2008-2013 were black.  And according to the 2000 US Census, the black population in that area is around 32%.  So according to the raw data, roughly 1/3 of the Charlotte area is populated by blacks, yet they make up 80% of the pot arrests.

 

black-population-charlotte

 

To be clear, the information posted here is for people arrested for offense code 3550 only (possession of marijuana up to 1/2 ounce).  People cited for multiple offense codes on the same event were excluded from this dataset.  Now I know that correlation doesn’t mean causality, but is this just a coincidence?  Or is there something more sinister going on in the Charlotte area that should be looked at a bit deeper?

 

Help us expose court data like this so that we can better understand what is going on in our judicial system.  I mean, really…shouldn’t we know this shit already? Shouldn’t all of this information be readily available, so that we citizens can see if there are racial biases we should be looking into more closely?

 

Maybe someone needs to take a much closer look at the Charlotte area….

 

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