Sunday, August 28, 2016

Disparity in arrests greater than what is reported

... and the PJStar's race data is more than likely inaccurate.

Click here to read the Peoria Journal Star article... 

In February of 2016, a concerned citizen contacted City Councilman Chuck Grayeb, Rita Ali  who is the Co-Chair of the city’s Advisory Committee on Police Community Relations, and County Board member Rachael Parker, regarding what was believed to be discrepancies around the race data that was put on the record, when people are booked into the Peoria County Jail.

Grayeb gave an immediate response and mentioned in passing how important it was that the Department of Justice have accurate information; he brought County Board Chairman, Andrew Rand, Police Chief Jerry Mitchell, City Manager Patrick Ulrich and Mayor Jim Ardis in on the conversation.

Ali advised that the Peoria Community Police Advisory Committee would review what was happening in their next meeting (February). 

In the PJStar's continuing series outlining how unfortunate it is to be Black in Peoria, they take a look at "the frequency African Americans are involved in the justice system compared to their percentage of the population."

The article references the Peoria County Daily Commitment Report as follows: 
"It’s a quantifiably popular feature of the Journal Star’s website — the daily listing and photographs of people arrested and booked into Peoria County Jail. Frequently it is in the top ranks of the most viewed items posted on pjstar.com.

Daily viewers of the rows of photos of the county’s most recent arrested inmates can’t help but be struck by one obvious fact — there is a preponderance of African-American faces staring into the lens of the county jail booking camera on any given day. Angry. Smiling. Blank. Scared.
Statistics back up what eyes and minds behold from the daily booking sheet. African Americans are involved in the justice system at rates disproportionate to population numbers."
Back in November of 2015, EmergePeoria raised the issue of the discrepancies in booking and posted this:


While the writer in the PJStar article talks about how African Americans who appear in the Daily Commitment Report "look," he fails to mention noticing that there appears to be a discrepancy in who is booked as Black "B" (or "African-American"), White "W", Hispanic "H", Mexican "M", or Other "O" (whatever that means). As a result, chances are that more than likely, there's a problem in the numbers that appear in his article.

Even though it was promised in February that the problem of recording inaccurate race data when booking would be reviewed and corrected, it continues. Below is a small unscientific sampling:





There are five naturalization ceremonies planned for Peoria this year. Peoria's demographic is changing, and our City needs to insure the data is recorded accurately.

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