San Francisco Bay Area’s historic drop in arrests still imperils African-Americans

By DON THOMPSON | The Associated Press

SACRAMENTO  — California is seeing a historic drop in arrests that still leaves blacks far more likely to wind up in handcuffs, particularly in San Francisco Bay Area counties, according to a report released Monday by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California.

The arrest rate statewide dropped nearly 60 percent since its peak in 1989. Three-fourths of the long-term drop involves misdemeanors, particularly for traffic and alcohol-related violations. Felony arrests for property and drug offenses fell substantially by 2016, the most recent year data were available, after voters lowered criminal penalties in 2014.

The split between the arrests of blacks and whites “has dropped remarkably” and is now at the lowest level since 1980, while the…

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