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How the Marshall Project visualized racial inequities in New York City subway policing

“Last month, The Marshall Project published a piece about arrests for subway turnstile jumping in New York City by interactive reporter Anna Flagg and former reporting intern Ashley Nerbovig. They found that, while the number of arrests for turnstile jumping has fallen since 2014, the racial makeup of those arrested has remained steady. This year, 89 percent of people arrested for turnstile jumping in NYC have been black or Hispanic.

The piece opens with two adjacent maps, one showing the NYC precincts with the highest rates of arrests for turnstile jumping per subway card swipe and the other showing the city’s neighborhoods with largely black and Hispanic residents. Lower down in the story, a single map overlays those two data sets, highlighting how the majority of these arrests occur in the city’s neighborhoods of color. The visualization drives home the close tie between a neighborhood’s racial makeup and how strictly the subways are policed.

Storybench spoke with Flagg about how she assembled the maps and her thoughts on data visualization…”

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