NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Virginia newspaper has found that more than half of the state's disorderly conduct charges were filed against black men and women.
The Daily Press in Newport News reported Thursday that more than 2,500 disorderly conduct charges were filed by police in Virginia last year. The paper reviewed district court records across the state.
The numbers show that black Virginians are charged at a disproportionately higher rate. The data also suggest that prosecutors statewide are less inclined to drop the charges against blacks than whites.
Newport News state Del. Mike Mullin, a Democrat, said the findings are "shocking." He recently tried but failed to pass legislation banning students from being charged with criminal disorderly conduct for acting out in school.
Police and prosecutors say the numbers are misleading because they consider each charge on a case-by-case basis.