African Americans are receiving a disproportionately high number of citations for not paying the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) fares. More than 85 percent of the citations for the infraction were issued to them during the past two years. By contrast, fewer than 70 percent of the riders on the lines where citations were being handed out were black. At least 260 blacks have been arrested or cited each month. In some months RTA police have arrested or cited about 500 blacks. During that period the number of arrests and citations given to other races also increased, although not as dramatically. The increase in the total number of arrests and citations has been driven by a change in the enforcement of fare evasions. Mary McCahon, a spokeswoman for RTA said “Theres not an explanation why so many blacks are receiving the high number of citations, but racism and racial profiling are ruled out from the causes.”
Is this an example of prejudice, discrimination, and racism? Or is it just a big coincidence? Are African Americans really not willing to pay to ride the bus or rapid? Or are the black areas being paid attention to and patrolled more?