The Washington D.C. Council has voted to decriminalize Metro fare evasion after statistics showed that 91 percent of offenders are black, a fact which the council blamed on “white racists” who engage in “disproportionate enforcement” against nonwhites.
According to a report in the Washington Post, the measure, which passed 11 to 2, must be voted on one more time before becoming final.
Under the legislation, criminal fare evasion penalties of up to $300 would be replaced by a $50 civil infraction that would not appear on a criminal record.
Data show fare evasion arrests, citations and warnings have risen dramatically — from 4,000 in 2013 to 15,000 in 2017.
“It is endemic of a systemic issue and problem which this legislation is trying to get at, and decriminalizing is an appropriate and necessary way of trying to get at the problems we’re trying to solve,” said Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), chairman of the panel’s committee on the judiciary and public safety.
Allen and other backers of the law said that a “disparity in fare evasion arrests” shows that “police disproportionately target” blacks—an allegation which is of course anti-white racist nonsense. In fact, the majority of offenders are black, and this alone is the reason why they make up the majority of apprehensions.
Statistics quoted in the bill show that 91 percent of Metro Transit Police citations and summons for fare evasion from January 2016 to February 2018 were issued to blacks.
Council member Robert C. White Jr. (D-At Large) argued that inaction on the measure would mean “condoning” that pattern, “with an overwhelming number of black people being arrested unnecessarily.”
Fare evasion citations do not typically result in arrest, though stops that begin as a failure to pay have escalated into arrests when disputes arise as police have leveled charges such as assault of a police officer.
The council still needs to take a final vote on the measure, which would take effect in 2019.
* According to the US Census Bureau, the population of America’s capital city was 64 percent nonwhite as of July 2017.