Report: Racial arrest disparity in Hoboken, Police Captain says not valid

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Blacks are more than 11 times as likely to be arrested than non-black residents in Hoboken, according to a USA Today report of FBI arrest records.

The Mile Square City had the largest disparity of the 10 Hudson County municipalities in USA Today data.  They are nearly six times more likely to get arrested in Jersey City.  East Newark and Harrison were not included in the report.

Blacks are less likely to get arrested than non-blacks in West New York and Guttenberg, USA Today says.

At the 2010 (last time data was available) U.S. Census, blacks made up 3.5 percent of Hoboken’s population.

According to USA Today, Hoboken is among nearly 1,600 police departments in the country with a higher disparity between black and non-black arrest rates than Ferguson, Missouri, a city embroiled in unrest after a police officer shot a black teen in August.

Racial discrimination allegations are nothing new to the Hoboken Police Department.  According to an NJ.com report, in November 2013 the city granted a $99,000 settlement to a black police officer who said he was a victim of racist treatment and overlooked for a promotion.

“People are not getting randomly arrested in Hoboken just because the color of their skin or nationality or anything else,” says Capt. Edelmiro Garcia, who was Hoboken’s interim police chief since June.

Kenneth Ferrante replaced him today as the permanent chief.

According to Garcia, the 2012 data used for the report was from the contractual obligation done at the Hoboken Housing Authority and signed there.

“Basically they were all criminal trespassing, of people who didn’t live in the housing area,” Garcia says. “They should get their facts straight before they put a story out to utilize the headlines that are going around the nation and try to make it into something that doesn’t exist.

“That information is available in the police department for anyone that wants to see it,” Garcia says.

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