According to court data obtained through an open records request, the Milwaukee Police Department writes a disproportionate number of citations in some of the city’s poorest areas. Although only 12 percent of Milwaukee residents live in two of the city’s poorest ZIP codes (53206 on the North Side and 53204 on the South Side), people in those ZIP codes received 17 percent of the 430,000 tickets written from 2011 to 2014.
The disparity in citations by income is also illustrated by comparing the number of tickets written in the 53206 ZIP code, where half the residents live in poverty, to the number written in the 53215 ZIP code, a predominantly Hispanic neighborhood where about a third of residents live in poverty, the same as the citywide average. Police wrote about one ticket for every four people in 53206 compared to one ticket for every 11 people in 53215 in 2014.
See, Special Report, Milwaukee Municipal Court