In response to a Freedom of Information Act request, police have released data showing there were 562 arrests of juveniles in Evanston over the past three years — for offenses ranging from aggravated assault to unlawful use of a weapon.

Controversy arose this summer after some residents complained about the arrest of 12-year-olds for having ridden three on a bike across a downtown intersection against the light and into oncoming traffic.

Most of those arrested in 2014 through 2016 were at least 15 years old, but the arrests started much younger than that — with three nine year olds arrested — one each for simple assault, criminal trespass and theft over $500.

Nearly 30 percent of the arrests fell into the eight violent crime categories shown in the chart above. Another 43 percent fell into the eight property crime categories shown in the chart below.

In almost every crime category the majority of juveniles arrested were black.

Some rare exceptions included possession of a controlled substance, where four of the six juveniles arrested were white, possession of drug paraphernalia, where both of the juveniles arrested were white, and driving under the influence of alcohol, where all three juveniles arrested were white.

Thanks to Karen Courtright for filing the FOIA request that led to the data release.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Facts don’t lie, this is clearly discrimination

    With the majority of kids arrested being Black, the only solution is to have White & Asian parents nudge their children to engage in criminal activities.  These statistics could lead one to conclude that Evanston discriminates.

    1. Why is the police force in

      Why is the police force in Evanston favoring Asian kids over everyone else.  I think its an ugly state of affairs when these Asian children are allowed to break the law and not be held accountable for it.  Has any group looked into why there is this disparity?  

        1. Equity Director

          In order for this position to be totally without prejudice, they should have hired a person who is multi-mixed race, with male/female tendencies…(yes, this is sarcasm!)

  2. Challenge to interpret data

    So are non-black kids getting away with crimes, are black kids getting arrested in large numbers when they shouldn’t be, or is criminal activity more likely amongst black kids?

    Any one of those would explain the arrest rate discrepancies cited, but it is hard to tell.  One thing that would help would be getting more information on what happens after an arrest as described in a previous post.

    1. Ethnic make-up and rates of crime

      After every report, there are cries of racism if certain groups are stopped or arrested. 

      We can’t perform experiments, but how about using proxies ? E.g. traffic stops, calls made reporting a crime [or suspected crime], arrests, convictions versus a proxy by race/ethnic group of graduation rates, highest grade [or post-secondary] attained, area of Evanston lived in.  Harder to measure/compare income, two parent home, education of parents.

    2. Now begins leftist effort to

      Now begins leftist effort to explain why statistics are racist, when in reality the % of black arrests should have been stratospherically higher due to preferential treatment.

  3. I know the person whom filed

    I know the person whom filed the FOIA request has commented on this board before.  I wonder what her analysis and conclusions are based on this data. Curious if your analysis would suggest making any changes within the EPD and their crime prevention strategies?  If so, what specific changes would you recommend if you had a voice in the matter. 

  4. The Numbers Support No Conclusion as to Discrimination

    Unless numbers can be produced showing who engaged in crime, but was not arrested, a conclusion cannot be reached that the police are discriminating or not discriminating. For example, if blacks are being arrested for crimes committed at the same rate as other races, there is no discrimination. If whites or asians are committing crimes, but not being arrested at a higher rate than blacks, then we likely have discrimination. I say likely as I suppose we may have to know the degree to which the criminal line is crossed too (was battery committed by tapping someone on an ear or by punching them breaking their nose, etc.). Since we’re not likely to get the data needed to make the determination, it may just be best to focus on going forward and ensuring the police force solely uses criteria of protecting the public without regard to race.

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