SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York Civil Liberties Union is apologizing for a report that appeared to show that Blacks living in Schenectady were 74 times more likely to be arrested for a marijuana-related offense than white people.
The Capital Region NYCLU Dir. Melanie Trimble said the following:
“We have been in touch with and apologized to the Schenectady Police Department about the error. They have assured us that racial disparities in marijuana arrests are something they have been addressing and will continue to focus on. Although our error amplified the statistic, racial disparities in marijuana arrests still exist in Schenectady and across the state.”
They said the error was a result of a spreadsheet error that included numbers from Saratoga County.
Members of the Schenectady Police Department said they understand the mistake, but now have to figure out how to repair the damage done by the report.
“It’s touch to unring that bell because we’re really doing some great work in the community,” Schenectady Sgt. Nick Mannix said. “And that’s kind of the sad part about it. Because we get this, and obviously, the chiefs and the commissioners that were looking at this report, and its crazily skewed. So we were kind of confused about that.”
Numbers show that Black people living in the county are actually 10 percent more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, which are inline with the state as a whole.