About 9 p.m. on April 22, Michael was driving residence with his son when Chandler police officer Brenton Lange pulled him more than for driving with a broken headlight.
Michael gave Lange his license and registration, but when Lange checked his license, he discovered it had been suspended just days ahead of for the reason that Michael had failed to spend some fines for prior visitors tickets. Lange decided to arrest Michael, Chandler police records show.
A different officer searched the car and discovered a container with marijuana and a tiny blue pipe on the floor close to the front seat. Lange study Michael his Miranda rights. Michael stated he did not have a healthcare marijuana card but that the weed wasn’t his, he stated, adding that it could belong to — as the officer place it — “a troubled youth who he permitted to reside with him.”
Lange handcuffed Michael. The other officer referred to as a tow enterprise as Michael’s son stood by, watching it all unfold. The boy referred to as his mom to choose him up, and she told police there was no way the weed was Michael’s. She recommended it could belong to the registered owner of the car, from whom Michael had not too long ago acquired the car or truck.
Michael was fingerprinted and photographed at the Chandler police station. His car or truck was towed. All for 3 grams of marijuana.
Michael’s practical experience was just one particular of the two,430 marijuana-possession arrests Chandler police have produced considering that 2013, an evaluation of booking information from Chandler’s open information portal shows. (These arrested for marijuana possession could have also been charged with other crimes, but the information does not make that clear.) When the information alone does not reflect the complete situations of each and every arrest, it does show racial disparity in the way Chandler handles its marijuana possession arrests, and also shows disparities in the age and gender of arrested men and women.
Chandler marijuana possession arrests 2013-2019
What Michael and thousands of other people had been arrested for is no longer a crime in 10 states, but in Arizona, possession of any quantity of weed is technically a felony, and these caught with it endure the consequences.
On typical, among 2013 and 2018 Chandler police arrested 385 men and women a year for marijuana possession. Chandler’s arrest information involves the race, gender, age, and ethnicity of arrestees, as effectively as the place of the arrest and a assortment of other facts certain to each and every person arrest. Of all the cities in Maricopa County, Chandler’s booking information is by far the most extensive, generating it quick to examine the city’s marijuana-possession arrests as a window into police enforcement of marijuana laws in Arizona.
Information shows that 906 of the two,430 total marijuana arrestees had been listed as white in the “arrestee ethnicity” column, 827 had been Hispanic or Latino, 413 had been black, 126 had been American Indian, 101 ethnicity entries had been left blank, and the remaining 57 had been a assortment of other ethnicities.
Crunching the Chandler marijuana possession numbers: 37.three % of these arrested considering that 2013 had been white, 34 % had been Hispanic or Latino, 17 % had been black, and five.two % had been Native American.
Chandler has a population of about 236,000 according to 2018 census estimates. A majority of the population — 59.1 % — are non-Hispanic white men and women, 21.eight % are Latinos, five.two % are black, and 1.five % are Native Americans. Nearly 10 % of Chandler’s population is Asian Asian men and women accounted for 44 marijuana possession arrests produced from 2013 to 2019.
The arrest price is comparatively higher for black men and women in comparison to their white neighbors, who make up almost 60 % of Chandler’s population but only 37.three % of possession arrests, in spite of the truth that black men and women and white men and women use marijuana at related prices.
Population of Chandler marijuana possession arrests
Of the 906 white men and women arrested for marijuana possession, slightly much more had been provided a citation or guarantee to seem devoid of going to jail (21.7 %) than had been arrested, booked, and jailed (20.9 %). Fifty-six % of arrestees had their arrest variety listed as “warrant or submitted case.”
When white men and women had been much more probably to have their situations resolved through cite-and-release, black men and women had been arrested and booked on new charges much more normally than they had been cited and released. That distinction was even starker for Hispanic men and women, whose percentage of situations that led to arrest and booking was 12 points larger than that of their percentage of situations that had been resolved through cite-and-release.
The information also shows that far much more of the arrestees had been males (80 %) than ladies. Almost half of these arrested had been young. Chandler police arrested 1,091 men and women among the ages of 17 to 22, (44.9 % of all marijuana possession arrests), and much more than 230 men and women among the ages of 11 to 16.
Age ranges of marijuana possession arrestees
The information indicates that a majority of the young children and teenagers arrested for marijuana possession had their arrest variety listed as “warrant or submitted case,” meaning the particular person was either arrested and booked for the reason that he or she had a warrant, or was arrested devoid of getting booked for the reason that charges had been submitted straight to the court.
On the other hand, some 14- and 15-year-olds had been arrested and booked, which means they had been physically booked into jail and had their initial look ahead of a judge, who either set a bond or released them on their personal recognizance.
A spokesperson for the Chandler police division told New Occasions that officers often submit charges straight to the court, specifically if the arrestee is a juvenile devoid of any criminal history, in order to keep away from physically booking men and women and generating them commit time in jail ahead of the county attorney’s workplace decides whether or not or not to prosecute.
The policy indicates several marijuana-possession arrests by Chandler PD are resolved devoid of getting the arrestee commit time in jail prior to an initial look ahead of a judge. About 53 % of all marijuana-possession arrests had been classified as “warrants or submitted situations.”
An further 19 % of arrests had been resolved through cite-and-release, which indicates men and women are nonetheless accused of charges, arrested, and fingerprinted, but are not physically booked into jail. Alternatively, police give them a ticket or citation with a court date to adhere to. About 25 % of arrests led to time in jail prior to an initial look ahead of a judge. The remaining percentage of arrest kinds had been left blank.
Michael’s arrest was listed in the information as a cite-and-release case. A Chandler police officer described arresting the father, handcuffing him, and fingerprinting him in the arrest paperwork. But following bringing Michael down to the major station, Officer Lange told Michael he would submit charges as soon as the lab outcomes came back positively identifying the 3 grams of weed he had in his car or truck. Lange indicated that he released Michael that evening.
If the test outcomes are constructive for marijuana, Michael’s felony will probably get turned into a misdemeanor, or he’ll be provided a pre-prosecution or “diversion” deal that’ll outcome in an order to full a TASC drug-remedy plan. Because he has no prior record of arrest for marijuana possession, he can’t be sentenced to jail time for marijuana possession beneath a 1996 voter-authorized law, though Lange also wrote up Michael for driving with a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Michael did not respond when contacted for this story, and New Occasions is withholding his final name in order to keep away from developing a additional record of his arrest.
Michael’s arrest virtually undoubtedly does imply that the man whose license was suspended for not paying visitors fines will probably be forced to spend more than $1,000 in fines and charges for the TASC plan, and take typical urine tests.
Final August, a legal rights group sued Maricopa County Lawyer Bill Montgomery more than the TASC plan, alleging that the method makes it possible for wealthy men and women to acquire their way off diversion immediately, though poor men and women threat getting expelled from the plan and prosecuted for a felony merely for the reason that they can’t afford to spend.
One particular 21-year-old lady who entered the plan in 2017 ended up leaving college for the reason that she would otherwise be unable to attend all the drug tests the plan necessary. When she struggled to make the payments, she started promoting her blood plasma to cover the price. She ultimately became homeless, but nonetheless she was unable to apply for a decreased charge.