OAKLAND (KCBS) — African-American boys are arrested in Oakland more often and for minor offenses compared to other racial groups, according to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union.
The ACLU, along with an Oakland community group and their legal advocates, also released a report card that they said highlights the disproportionate numbers.
According to the report, black boys made up more than 70 percent of the juvenile arrests between 2006 and 2012, yet they make up 30 percent of the youth population.
Advocates said there needs to be more transparency and more oversight of the police assigned to school campuses. The groups, along with the Oakland non-profit group Black Organizing Project, are asking the school board to stop putting police funding over funding for counselors and mentors.
“Students in Oakland need mentors and counselors. They need educators that can be role models and school to be a path for a better future, but unfortunately now they are more likely to run into a police officer than a counselor when they get into trouble,” said Laura Faer from the civil rights law firm Public Counsel.
Spokesman Troy Flint of the Oakland Unified School District called the report sloppy and its numbers inaccurate. He said the community is asking for more officers on campus, not fewer.
“The reason why we increase the number of school security officers who are not armed guards was in response to a public outcry. We’ve had three lockdowns this year already. We’re not even in the third day. Yesterday we had a shooting outside a school. These are things that the public cries out to address,” Flint said.
He said last year Oakland police on school campuses arrested 25 students, a fraction of the 35,000 enrolled.
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