Data: NYPD Issuing Disproportionate Number of “Jaywalking” Tickets to Black, Hispanic Residents of Bronx

By Kevin Deutsch and Sasha Gonzales
[email protected], [email protected]

Jaywalking laws are rarely enforced in New York City, but when they are, Hispanic and African-Americans living in the Bronx account for a disproportionate number of summons recipients, new data shows.

Records recorded in the city’s Open Data portal shows the NYPD issued 316 summonses for jaywalking, crossing against a traffic light, or unsafely entering traffic between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 of 2019 — the most recent period for which data is available.

The data was first reported Wednesday by Martin Samoylov and Gersh Kuntzman of Streetsblog NYC.

According to the news site, 284 of the jaywalking summonses issued citywide during that period — nearly 90 percent — went to blacks or Hispanics, despite their making up roughly 55 percent of the city’s population.

Last year, most of the NYPD precincts that issued jaywalking summonses were Bronx precincts, which wrote 52 percent of all jaywalking citations citywide, the data shows.

The 2019 numbers marked a sharp rise in summonses for jaywalking from the same period in 2018, when 198 jaywalking citations were issued, the data shows.

“This is a disgusting and indefensible statistic,” Anthony Posada, Supervising Attorney of the Community Justice Unit at the Legal Aid Society, said of the racial disparity for summonses. “This speaks volumes to how NYPD officers choose to spend their time and what orders they receive from their superiors, and the mere fact that the NYPD still spends resources on enforcing jaywalking is mystifying. It makes clear that the overall agenda of the institution is to keep communities of color in check at all times.”

The precinct with the most jaywalking citations citywide last year was the 42nd in Claremont Village, in the Bronx, which accounted for 47 of the borough’s 164 jaywalking summonses issued during the period covered, Streetsblog reported.

Manhattan, home to the most pedestrians in New York City, accounted for just 9 percent of jaywalking tickets during that same period, the records show.

About Eric Klein 108 Articles
Eric Klein is an editor for Bronx Justice News. Born and bred in the Bronx, he lives on the Grand Concourse, where at least one member of his family has resided every year since the 1930s. Eric has two sons and, like them, is a die-hard New York Yankees fan.