Report: Black Sailors More Likely Than White Sailors to be Referred to Court-Martial

Black sailors were 40 percent more likely than white sailors to be referred to a court-martial over a two-year period examined by an advocacy group that focuses on military justice. 

The report released Wednesday by Protect Our Defenders examined military justice data from the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force, and found that black service members were much more likely than white service members to face military justice or disciplinary action.

“Protect Our Defenders calls on Congress to investigate these new findings, and provide recommendations for fixing this problem that affects every branch of the Armed Forces. Military leadership has been aware of significant racial disparity in its justice process for years, and has made no apparent effort to find the cause of the disparity or remedy it,” retired Col. Don Christensen, former chief prosecutor of the Air Force and president of Protect Our Defenders, said in a statement. 

The report showed that black service members were as much as twice as likely as white service members to have a disciplinary action taken against them in an average year.

The group reviewed data from each branch from 2006 to 2015, although the Navy only provided complete information for 2014 and 2015. The report says black airmen were 71 percent more likely to face court-martial or non-judicial punishment than white airmen, black Marines were 32 percent more likely to receive a guilty finding at a court-martial or non-judicial punishment proceeding than white Marines, and that black soldiers were 61 percent more likely to face a special or general court-martial compared with white service members. The Coast Guard said it was not able to provide the data Protect Our Defenders requested.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Brock Vergakis
The Virginian-Pilot