Black student arrests at Harvard are at a three-year high

After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling outlawing affirmative action, Harvard University police will have fewer opportunities to stop and arrest Black students.

Harvard is considered the citadel of higher education, but mirrors most of the nation’s cities where police arrest many more Blacks than Whites. That Harvard’s police department is headed by an African American will make no difference.

“Blacks individuals accounted for more than 50 percent of the arrests made by the Harvard police in 2022,† according to new data released Thursday by its data dashboard, the Harvard Crimson reported.

 â€œThe proportion—23 out of 41 in 2022—marks the highest rate in at least three years as the department has continued to arrest Black people disproportionately. From 2020  to 2022, 45 percent of the people arrested or served with a criminal complaint by Harvard University Police (HUPD) were Black, an increase from 37 percent of non-Harvard affiliates and 35 percent of affiliates arrested between 2018 and 2020 who were Black.â€

The rate is disproportionate relative to the populations of both Cambridge and Harvard’s campus. Blacks account for 10.6 of Cambridge residents and 6.7 percent of Harvard undergraduates and graduate students. At present, 6.8 percent of the faculty and staff are Black, yet 56 percent of people arrested or served with criminal complaints are Black, the Crimson reported. 

The police department of Harvard University covers incidents in Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge.

The data was released after Harvard Police held for a time four students who were victims of a swatting call in which police were called in after a male caller claimed that the Black students were holding a woman in their room against her will. There was no woman. There were only three sleeping students.

Victor A. Clay, chief of the HUPD, told the Crimson, “We are ready to take criticism because of some of our numbers.”