Interactive Map: Racial Disparities in Arrests in the District of Columbia

Racial Disparities in Arrests in the District of Columbia, 2009- 2011: Implications for Civil Rights and Criminal Justice in the Nation’s Capital includes a detailed analysis of more than 142,000 arrest records for the period 2009 – 2011. Click here to view the full report. The interactive map is a geographical representation of these arrests. Click read more to view map.

Arrest markers are grouped when zoomed out, zoom in to see more markers and addittional details. Change the options on the map to see arrest disparities based on geography and race. 

 
 
 
 

See Drug Arrests by Drug Type

 
 

White Black Other/Unidentified

The data analyzed in the report revealed significant racial disparities in arrests throughout the three years studied, and includes the following key findings:

  • More than 8 out of 10 arrests were of African Americans.
  • District wards with more African American residents witnessed far more arrests.
  • More than 19 out of 20 arrests were for nonviolent offenses.
  • Nine out of 10 individuals arrested for drug offenses are African American.
  • Six out of 10 drug arrests were for simple possession, and nearly 9 out of 10 arrests for possession involved African American arrestees.
  • Wards with a high percentage of African American residents accounted for a disproportionately high percentage of all drug arrests.
  • While there are significant disparities between whites and African Americans in drug arrests, drug use survey data showed much less disparity in drug use among the two groups.
  • Nearly 7 out of 10 traffic arrests were of African Americans.
  • Eight out of 10 individuals arrested for disorderly conduct were African American or Hispanic.

The report’s conclusions raise important policy issues and propose a number of key recommendations to address the significant racial disparities. Policy implications include the negative impact of needless arrests, significant financial costs to taxpayers and the justice system, and disparity in the perception of fairness and trust in criminal justice. To request the data-sets, email wlc@washlaw.org.

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