While Native Americans account for nearly 60 percent of the arrests made in Rapid City, members of that race do not account for 60 percent of the crime, according to a researcher who wrote a detailed report on Native policing for the Rapid City Police Department.
That's because more than 30 percent of arrests of Native Americans are for what report author Richard Braunstein calls "process offenses," meaning things such as failure to appear in court, failure to pay a fine or probation violations. (For whites, the rate is 23 percent.)
Braunstein writes on page 11:
"In processrelated arrests, an offender has typically been identified for arrest and the job of RCPD officers is to apprehend the individual. This differs in many ways from other crime types that require greater investigations and more subjective determinations of the crime and suspects. Consistent with the goal of reducing conflict (and arrests) for Native Community members, greater compliance with criminal justice policy and requirements by Native offenders/suspects would bring down Native arrests, making population percentages closer to RCPD arrest percentages."
In any case, Native Americans are over-represented in arrests made by Rapid City police, as the U.S. Census estimates their population at 12.4 percent, and Braunstein recalculates that to roughly 25 percent.
The charts below provide breakdowns of the types of arrests made by racial groups. Read the full analysis on pages 11-14 of the report attached at the bottom of this post.
Read more from the Native Data series on the Black Hills Knowledge Network.