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Officers stand guard in front of the police station in the St. Louis, a suburb of Ferguson, Mo. Photo: Basri Sahin/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Suburban cities saw a higher arrest rate than urban cities, despite having substantially fewer violent crime arrests, according to a new finding from a policy group that monitors criminal justice and racial disparities.

Why it matters: The findings released Wednesday by the Vera Institute of Justice suggest suburban cities are making less progress around policing while bigger cities adopt reforms.

By the numbers: In 2016, for the first time in U.S. history, arrest rates in suburban cities were higher than those in principal cities (with populations greater than 50,000), the Vera Institute of Justice's interactive Arrest Trends tool revealed.

  • Since 200o, the number of arrests of both Black and white people in principal cities dropped substantially—by more than 35% each, the organization found.
  • But in suburban areas during the same period, the number of arrests of white people dropped by nearly 24% while arrests of Black people increased by 2.6%.
  • Nationally, Black people are arrested at more than twice the rate of white people.
  • Over the past 20 years, the United States has seen a 20% decrease in the overall arrest rate, lower rates of racial disparities in arrests, and lower youth arrest rates.

Between the lines: It appears the worsening racial inequity in arrests in suburban cities is being driven by disproportionate arrests of Black people for less serious offenses.

  • The difference between police treatment of Black people and white people in suburban cities continues to worsen just as suburbs become more diverse with a growing Black and Latino middle class.
  • But suburban cities are slower to diversify police departments like larger cities where Black and Latinos are more politically organized.

Don't forget: The 2014 police shooting death of Michael Brown that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement took place in Ferguson, Mo., a St. Louis suburb of around 20,000 people.

  • The April fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, occurred in Brooklyn Center, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb of 30,000.

Go deeper

May 24, 2021 - World

British Black Lives Matter activist in critical condition after being shot in the head

Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson joins community activists and school children at a protest against police violence in London. Photo: Guy Smallman via Getty Images

British Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson is in critical condition after she was shot in the head early Sunday morning, according to a political party affiliated with her.

Why it matters: Police say there is no evidence the London shooting is connected to her activism, per the BBC. But the prominent figure, who is known for "actively fighting for black people and the injustices that surround the black community," has received "numerous death threats" related to her work, Britain’s Taking the Initiative party said.

Updated 1 hour ago - Health

White House acknowledges U.S. will miss July 4 vaccination goal

Fireworks in New York City to celebrate the state reaching a 70% vaccination rate. Photo: Liao Pan/China News Service via Getty Images

The Biden administration acknowledged on Tuesday that it will likely miss its goal of vaccinating 70% of U.S. adults with at least one dose by July 4.

Why it matters: Despite falling short of the goal, the White House still believes most Americans will be safe to fully celebrate Independence Day, as COVID-19 cases and deaths remain at low levels throughout much of the country.

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