After the recent arrest of a 15-year-old black girl in Daphne, Alabama, many black residents have alleged that black children are being treated differently in their town, and that their kids are much more likely than white kids to get arrested by the Daphne Police Department.
Independent Press Journal (IPJ) has conducted an independent study based on U.S. Census data (2010) for the City of Daphne, Alabama, as well as 10-years of Daphne Police Department juvenile arrest data (between September 2007 – October 2017).
The goal of this study is to determine the likelihood of a white child being arrested by Daphne Police Department, and the likelihood of a black child being arrested by Daphne Police Department, as well as to study the disparity (if any) that exists in those arrest rates.
The United States Census Bureau (2010) reports that the city of Daphne, Alabama consists of 18,132 (84.1%) white residents, and 2,536 (11.8%) black residents.
The US Census Bureau (2010) indicates that approximately 5,004 (23.20%) of Daphne’s residents are under 18-years-old.
Of Daphne’s 5,004 residents that are under 18-years-old, 4,207 are White, 588 Black, 77 Asian, 22 Native American, 3 Pacific Islander, 44 Other, and 62 Mixed.
Daphne Police Department (Daphne, Alabama) records reveal that there have been 621 juvenile arrested in the 10-year period from September, 2007, through October, 2017.
Of the 621 minors arrested, 436 were white, 178 black, 3 Native American, 2 Asian, and 2 unknown/other.
According to US Census data (2010), 84.1% of the child population in Daphne is white, however, only 70.21% of child arrests are of white children. The white child arrest percentage is less than the white child population percentage.
70.21% < 84.1%
On the other hand, 11.8% of the child population in Daphne is black, and 28.66% of child arrests are of black children. The black child arrest percentage is greater than the black child population percentage.
28.66% > 11.8%
436 white children arrested in a 10-year period indicates an average 43.6 white children arrested per year. Within a population of 4,207, the rate at which white children are arrested is: 1.04%. In other words, approximately 1.04% of Daphne’s white child population is arrested per year.
Approximately 1.04% of Daphne’s white child population is arrested every year.
178 black child arrests in a 10-year period indicates an average 17.8 black children arrested per year. Within a population of 588, the rate at which black children are arrested is: 3.03%. In other words, approximately 3.03% of Daphne’s black child population is arrested per year.
Approximately 3.03% of Daphne’s black child population is arrested every year.
Comparing the percentage of black children being arrested within their own group, and the percentage of white children being arrested within their own group, a disparity emerges.
The ratio of these two figures indicates the disparity.
1.04% (white) : 3.03% (black)
The ratio above indicates that black children are approximately three times more likely than white children to be arrested by Daphne Police Department.
Sample sizes for race groups other than white and black within the city of Daphne are small, and therefore statistically inconclusive. However, the sample sizes for white and black children are large enough to be conclusive.
This study concludes that a disparity exists within Daphne Police Department’s white/black child arrest rates. A black child is 3 times more likely than a white child to be arrested by Daphne Police Department.
WHY DID IPJ DO THIS RESEARCH?
Studies on white/black arrest rate disparity have already been conducted across most major cities in the US. But for some communities – Like Daphne, Alabama – those statistics are not as widely reported, or in some cases, not reported at all.
According to a USA Today study conducted in 2014, “blacks are more likely than others to be arrested in almost every city for almost every type of crime.”
However, the report “did not include thousands of smaller departments or agencies that serve areas with only a small black population. It also did not include police agencies in most parts of Alabama, Florida and Illinois because those states had not reported complete arrest data to the FBI.”
Due to the lack of reporting in rural areas – and in some states like Alabama – determining the arrest rates by race in those communities requires individualized research.
Previous reporting on the arrest of a 15-year-old black student, as well as the allegations made by dozens of members of the black community in Daphne were contributing factors that initiated IPJ’s interest in researching the child arrest rate (by race) within the Daphne Police Department.
The lack of statistical reporting on the topic of child arrests by race – as it relates to the City of Daphne, Baldwin County, and Alabama in general – compelled IPJ to conduct this independent study.
The arrest rate disparity between white children and black children in the city of Daphne, Alabama is documented and presented in this study. A black child is 3 times more likely than a white child to get arrested by the Daphne Police Department.
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