This is now San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr's third year on the job, so the chief is not new. He is still, however, taking a new approach to policing, or at least how policing is perceived by the public. He is very, very sensitive to how his department's work is perceived by the public, and takes initiative to engage the media (he even calls reporters personally, which is definitely new).
So it's not surprising that he took initiative to dispute the American Civil Liberties Union's report released Tuesday that noted black people are hauled off to jail more than white people for marijuana possession. Suhr's press release Wednesday noted that misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests have plummeted, and there's no racial disparity there.
Which is true. But if you look at felonies, something else interesting pops up: out of 311 felony arrests for cannabis in 2011, 90 arrestees were black. The majority of people popped by the man for felony pot busts in 2011? White people, with 167 arrests, according to California Department of Justice statistics.
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