New York City subway turnstile

Benoit Daoust |

Lawsuit Demands NYPD Release Data On Subway Turnstile Jumper Arrests

September 20, 2018 - 2:38 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The city is being sued for failing to provide a breakdown of fare evasion arrests by gender, age and race, as well as by subway station.

A city law requires the NYPD to release demographic data on arrests by subway station, but the New York Times reports the department has missed three consecutive deadlines to submit the information.

City Councilman Rory Lancman believes once the data is released it will show similar racial disparities to that of marijuana enforcement, with blacks and Hispanics getting arrested at a higher rate.

"The police department just doesn't want to release this data because I believe it will show unjustifiable racial disparities," Lancman said. 

He said the station by station breakdown of arrests is critical.

"It's essential that we the data by station because it's through the station by station comparison and the neighborhoods that feed those stations that we are able to make judgments about whether or not particular communities are being overenforced or underenforced," Lancman said.

Lancman said too many people of color are being saddled with criminal records for what he believes is a minor offense. He says fare evasion should be treated like a parking meter violation.

"For the rest of their life they're marked with a criminal record that interferes with their ability to get an education, and student loans, to get a job, to get housing," Lancman said.

The police department suggests releasing the data could make certain subway stations vulnerable to criminals or terrorists by showing which stations have less of a police presence.

Lancman calls that ridiculous.

The city has indicated it's looking for an agreement that won't jeopardize public safety.