Minnesota’s Minneapolis Police Department is ending undercover enforcement of laws against low level sales of pot.
According to Mayor Jacob Frey, there have been concerns that black men have been targeted and he has directed the department to end the sting operations.
Chief Medaria Arradondo acknowledged that his undercover officers had arrested dozens of African-American men for selling small amounts of the drug. He said, “We took a look back and we analyzed and we saw that, while we were making the arrests and we were keeping guns off the streets down there, we were seeing a segment of the population that was being disproportionately impacted.”
He denied that African Americans had been targeted and said that officers had followed procedures.
According to Mary Moriarty however, Hennepin County’s Chief Public Defender, 46 of the 47 people arrested for selling marijuana during the sting operation were not just black but also low-income.
“But by virtue of the fact that police were approaching people and buying one or two grams, those people wound up getting charged by the county attorney’s office with felony drug sale,” Moriarty said.