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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