We, the undersigned, petition Chicago Police Department Superintendent Garry McCarthy to end the unjust arrest of Black Chicagoans for the use and minor possession of marijuana.
Why is this important?
The Chicago Police Department is supposed to serve and protect, not abuse and profile. The over-policing of Black Chicagoans has resulted in a "grass gap", creating a Black to White marijuana arrest ratio of 15 to 1 despite the rates of use across all races remaining about the same. This form of Black criminalization and racial profiling detracts from community safety and adds to the mistrust between police officers and community residents.
It is estimated that at least $78 million in local taxpayer dollars are spent yearly in court expenses and thousands of police hours. These resources should be spent on real violence prevention and community safety measures including job creation, public school funding, and quality social services.
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