A little-known site maintained by the New Hampshire Department of Safety reveals police disproportionately arrest Black and Hispanic – Latino people compared to their population size in the state.
The Concord Monitor in collaboration with Granite State News Collaborative reports that according to the state website, 56,963 total offenses were disclosed in New Hampshire in 2019.
Of those arrested that year, 92.7 percent were white, 5.4 percent were Black, .7 percent were Asian and 5.1 percent were Hispanic or Latino.
The state demographic data shows that about 4 percent of New Hampshire’s population is Hispanic – Latino, according to U.S. Census data.
The disparities vary from city to city:
- Manchester, the state’s largest city, reported 3,693 total arrests. Of those arrested, 13.3 percent were Black and 12.1 percent were Hispanic – Latino. Manchester’s population is about 6.1 percent Black and 10.4 percent Hispanic – Latino.
- Nashua reported 3,336 arrests in 2019. Of those arrested, 11.3 percent were Black and 16.2 percent Hispanic – Latino. The city’s population is 12.7 percent Black and 4.1 percent Hispanic – Latino.
- Concord reported 2,077 arrests in 2019. Of those arrested, 8.3 percent were Black and 2.4 percent were Hispanic – Latino. Concord’s population is about 3.5 percent Black and 3.0 percent Hispanic – Latino.
The Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community, and Transparency established after the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer and nationwide protests over systemic racism in policing.
The commission was tasked with reviewing police training, data collection, community relations, and the reporting and investigation of police misconduct. Among the commission’s final recommendations, which were endorsed by Sununu, was a requirement for law enforcement agencies to collect and publish race and gender demographic data for all police stops, citations and arrests.
Senate Bill 96, endorsed by Governor Chris Sununu would be to implement a number of policy recommendations made by the Commission, among them requiring law enforcement to collect, analyze and publish race, ethnicity, and gender data for all police stops, citations and arrests.
If approved, it would be an ambitious step toward greater police transparency in the state.
Still, members of law enforcement oppose the data collection requirement, arguing it would be too difficult and too costly for many police departments to meet.
The bill was heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee in early February, where testimony indicated strong bipartisan support, reported the Concord Monitor.