We're reaching back to 2015 in our continual updating of who gets charged with felony possession of marijuana second offense or greater -- yup, still black people.
We've posted 22 cases from 2015 so far; defendants in 18 were African-American, three defendants were white, and one was Hispanic, according to court records.
Overall, WJI has posted details about 72 cases opened in 2015 and 2016. A total of 60 African-Americans were charged, which is 7.5 times the number – eight – of whites charged. the number – eight – of whites charged. There were four Hispanics charged, according to records.
Fifty-six of the total arrests occurred in the city of Milwaukee north of I-94 and six occurred in the city south of I-94, a 9.3-to-1 north side - south side ratio.
A total of 10 cases began with arrests in county suburbs.
The Brookings Institution last year reported that while blacks and whites nationally use marijuana at about the same rates, blacks were more than 3.5 times as likely as whites to be arrested for possession.
That is only about half the disparity that exists in Milwaukee County felony possession of marijuana cases.
Follow along with us as we continue to track the arrests and their disparities. Still to come – 2017 cases.
Gretchen Schuldt is executive director of the Wisconsin Justice Initiative.
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