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Councilmembers To NYPD: Minorities Are Overpoliced In Marijuana Enforcement Efforts

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- At a City Hall hearing Monday, a number of councilmembers told representatives of the NYPD that minorities are being arrested disproportionately to whites when it comes to marijuana law enforcement.

As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, Councilman Daneek Miller (D-27th) did not buy NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Dermot Shea's explanation that marijuana enforcement is driven by 311 and 911 complaints.

"What would you have the police do when people are calling?" Shea said. "We would be criticized rightfully so if we were ignoring community complaints."

"Here's what I'm saying to you," Miller said. "What I'm saying to you – the community is opposed of overpolicing young black and brown men of color."

Shea agreed about the overpolicing of minorities, but he had an additional comment.

"I also submit that at the same time and not in conflict, that many of the same people will say, 'I don't want certain conditions on my block.'" Shea said.

The comments came at a City Council public safety and justice system committee joint hearing on the city's enforcement of marijuana laws.

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