TIME

L.A. Police Say Homeless Man Tried to Grab Gun Before Fatal Shooting

Charlie Beck
Damian Dovarganes—AP Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck comments on the shooting of a homeless man on Skid Row of Los Angeles, at a news conference at police headquarters on March 2, 2015.

But a bystander who caught the incident on video says otherwise

Los Angeles’ police chief said Monday there was evidence that a homeless man shot and killed by officers on Sunday had struggled over one of their guns, but a bystander who captured a viral video of the deadly incident says he never saw the man reach for a weapon.

Police Chief Charlie Beck said during a news conference that the slide of the weapon had been “partially engaged,” which is “indicative of a struggle over a weapon,” according to the Los Angeles Times, which has reviewed a second video of the deadly altercation.

Police were responding to a suspected robbery call and pursued a man known by some as “Africa” in the Skid Row area, home to one of the largest populations of homeless people in the country. After officers made contact, the department said in a statement, the man apparently began to fight back and resist being taken into custody.

“The officers attempted to use a Taser to subdue him but the suspect continued to fight and resist the officers and fell to the ground,” the statement continues. “While on the ground, the suspect and officers struggled over one of the officer’s handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred.”

Sunday’s encounter was recorded by at least one officer’s body camera and caught on a video that was circulated widely on Facebook. The bystander who recorded the footage, Anthony Blackburn, told CNN on Monday that he hadn’t seen the man reach for a weapon.

Beck said the officers involved in the shooting had received training about working with mentally ill people. The man reportedly spent the past few months living in a tent after previously residing at a mental-health facility.

Police said the shooting is being investigated by a number of law-enforcement offices, including the Office of Inspector General and Los Angeles Country District Attorney’s Justice System, to determine if the man’s death was another case of excessive force by police, as some witnesses and local activists claim.

TIME justice

White House Task Force Calls for Better Data on Police Shootings

Barack Obama
Jacquelyn Martin—AP President Barack Obama, flanked by former Assistant Attorney General Laurie Robinson, left, and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, speaks during a meeting with members of the Task Force on 21st Century Policing

Group calls for minimizing the use of military level equipment during demonstrations, but shies away from suggesting more body cameras

A task force established by President Obama after high-profile shootings of black men by police is calling for the federal government to keep better records on officer-involved shootings.

After 90 days of hearings and meetings with a wide range of civil rights groups and local police agencies, the Task Force on 21st Century Policing included the recommendation in its first report Monday.

It notes that a 1994 law requires the Department of Justice to gather data about excessive force by police officers and publish an annual summary but notes that has never been done in a “serious and sustained” way.

The report also suggests that local agencies adopt more of a community policing approach, minimize the use of military equipment at protests and rallies and have outside investigators look into police shootings. But it stopped short of endorsing widespread adoption of body cameras, an idea which first came up after a shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

Task force members said that body cameras could be helpful but that privacy concerns need to be considered first.

“Any technology we apply, we need to understand its usefulness,” said Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, the co-chair of the task force, on a call with reporters Monday. “But we also need to make sure we’re working within a constitutional framework.”

“Today we’re talking about body cameras, but tomorrow it will be something else,” Ramsey added.

Marc Morial, president of the civil rights organization National Urban League, which called for more body cameras in testimony to the task force, praised the recommendations for independent investigators, but said that not coming down hard in favor of body and dashboard cameras a “missed opportunity.”

“Privacy concerns that might be there are not enough to put the breaks on an idea whose time has come,” Morial tells TIME.

Aside from the specific recommendations, the report stresses the need for police to establish trust and demonstrate transparency to the communities they serve.

The task force makes some evergreen calls to action like engaging with community members and better addressing prejudice, while also calling on the federal government to take a hard look at criminal justice policies such as sentencing and reentry and societal issues like poverty and education that can further exacerbate police distrust.

Many of the federal task force’s recommendations align with similar calls made by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which released a report on community-police relations in January. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Ind., says that the report rightfully acknowledges that the federal government’s role in improving police-community relations is limited.

“It acknowledges that while there can be guidance and training and technical assistance that can be provided at the federal level, there really has to be a local approach and a local commitment to addressing those concerns,” she said.

Gene Voegtlin, a spokesman for the International Association of Chiefs of Police says, “This is more than just a police issue,” says “It’s a criminal justice system issue, and honestly probably a societal issue.”

TIME Marijuana

D.C.’s Weird New Free Weed Economy

Can a marijuana market that prohibits the sale of the drug work?

Stoners, rejoice: at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, stodgy Washington, D.C., became the latest and strangest frontier in the marijuana legalization movement. It’s now okay for adult residents of the District to possess two ounces of pot, grow up to six plants in their homes and share their bounty with others.

Here’s the wrinkle: there’s still no way to legally buy the drug.

Welcome to Washington’s weird new weed economy. A clash between the capital’s citizens and Congress has left the District without a system dictating how weed can be bought and sold, unlike the first four states that have legalized the drug. Washington has set up a marijuana marketplace without ironing out how the money part will work.

“What we have here is legalization without commercialization,” says Adam Eidinger, who ran the campaign to legalize weed in the nation’s capital. “We have more work to do.”

The missing link in the cannabis supply chain means the capital’s budding ganjapreneurs are about to get creative. Sure, smokers can take advantage of free seed giveaways and start growing at home. But in the meantime, unless you’re among the .003% of DC residents with a license to patronize one of the capital’s three medical dispensaries, there’s still no way to stroll into a shop and buy pot products. In the absence of traditional commerce, a social marijuana economy is apt to flower.

According to interviews with industry observers and participants, that may mean the formation of cannabis social clubs, where organizers charge admission to private event spaces where growers freely exchange their greenery. Corporations are discussing the viability of organizing sponsored weed swaps. Weed co-ops and farmer’s markets may sprout, just the ones where you get your monthly supply of organic kale or collards.

Entrepreneurs might skirt the sales prohibition by offering health seminars, massages or other services for a fee—and then hand out “free” greenery as a perk. If you’re a black-market pot dealer trawling for new clients, there’s nothing that prevents you from posting up at a bar or a concert and giving away gratis grams with a phone number on the back of the bag. All an enterprising businessman has to do is plausibly skirt the restriction against directly exchanging pot for money, goods or services.

“People are going to rush into the breach here and try to take advantage,” says Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “And some will not do it right.”

All this haziness is partly the product of a clash between D.C. residents and their killjoy overlords. Last November, voters in the District overwhelmingly approved Initiative 71, a ballot measure that legalized pot use. But because of a rule that bars the city from spending money to implement ballot measures, it couldn’t set up a regulatory system. That was supposed to come later, and the city council was ready to proceed, says Eidinger. During the lame-duck session, however, a small cadre of Congressmen intervened, preventing the capital from establishing rules to govern the sale and taxation of the drug.

As legalization loomed this week, members of Congress appeared to dangle the threat of jail time over Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser. Republicans Jason Chaffetz and Mark Meadows of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform fired off a letter to Bowser calling D.C.’s decision to proceed with legalization in defiance of Congress a “knowing and willful violation of the law.”

Bowser dug in, announcing at a Wednesday afternoon press conference that the city would move ahead on schedule. The legislative branch’s attempt to overrule the will of the city is “offensive to the American value of self-governance and … disrespectful to the 650,000 taxpaying Americans living in the District,” says D.C. council member Brianne Nadeau. “If they lock up the mayor, they better take me too.”

Rep. Andy Harris, a Maryland Republican who helped lead the fight against the initiative, says Congress doesn’t “take lightly interfering in D.C. home rule” and did so only because the District is “making a clearly bad decision.”

Harris urged the Department of Justice to intervene to stop the law from taking effect. But he notes lawmakers have little recourse in the matter if that doesn’t happen. “I don’t know,” Harris says. “We’re unclear what the next step could be.”

Meanwhile, the green rush is on. Over the weekend, more than 1,000 people are expected to descend on a Holiday Inn near the U.S. Capitol for a cannabis convention that includes a trade show, job fair, growing seminar and marketing instruction. The event, which costs up to $149 for attendees who want to learn to grow their own bud, is being put on by ComfyTree, a business based in Benton Harbor, Mich.

“This is something that will have a dramatic impact on D.C.,” predicts Tiffany Bowden, the co-founder and chief happiness officer of ComfyTree. “It’s going to be a significant amount of money—not just in terms of your direct transfer of goods, because you’re not technically allowed to sell cannabis, but there’s also going to be a boom in the hydroponics sector because of the new inspiration for home growing. There’s going to be a boom for head shops…There’s going to be a boom in peripheral areas—bakeries, edibles, cooking classes.”

All that’s missing in the Washington pot economy are traditional stores and sellers.

With reporting by Alex Rogers

TIME Drugs

The Marijuana Wars Claim New Fronts in Congress, Courts

Mason Tvert
David Zalubowski—AP Mason Tvert, spokesperson for the Marijuana Policy Project, talks during a news conference in reaction to the announcement that a federal lawsuit is being filed on behalf of two Colorado citizens by a Washington D.C.-based group to shut down the state's $700-million-a-year marijuana industry, Feb. 19, 2015, in Denver.

The tug-of-war over marijuana continues

The fight over marijuana has moved to Capitol Hill — and the courtroom.

On Feb. 20, Colorado Rep. Jared Polis and Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer introduced bills in Congress that would legalize and tax marijuana on a federal level. “Over the past year, Colorado has demonstrated that regulating marijuana like alcohol takes money away from criminals and cartels, grows our economy, and keeps marijuana out of the hands of children,” Polis said in a statement. Both lawmakers are from states where residents have already voted to legalize recreational bud, along with Alaska, Washington and Washington, D.C.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act would remove marijuana from the federal government’s schedule of illegal drugs and transition marijuana oversight to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Marijuana Tax Revenue Act would impose new taxes on the sale of recreational marijuana, starting at 10% and rising to 25% over time, as well as occupational taxes of marijuana businesses.

But the draw of revenue is unlikely to inspire Republican-controlled Congress to take up the bills. According to Gallup, a slim majority of Americans, 51%, favor legalizing weed, but less than a third of conservatives do. And similar bills, though branded differently, have gone nowhere in Congress.

In February, the final tallies for sales figures in Colorado came out: stores and dispensaries sold nearly $700 million worth of legal medical and recreational marijuana in 2014, the first full year when legal sales of recreational marijuana existed anywhere in the world. In the month of December, the state made an estimated $8.5 million in marijuana-related taxes, licenses in fees.

In his press release announcing the legislation, Polis acknowledged that the federal prohibition of marijuana puts players in the new legal markets at risk. “[S]mall business owners, medical marijuana patients and others who follow state laws still live with the fear that a new administration—or this one—could reverse course and turn them into criminals,” he said.

That’s no abstract argument, either. Opponents of marijuana legalization have already turned to the courts.

Polis and Blumenauer made their announcement a day after two federal lawsuits were filed in Colorado that aim to “end the sale of recreational marijuana in this state,” as one of the plaintiff’s lawyers said at a press conference. Both suits claim that legal marijuana shops are causing nuisances that puts them in violation of federal anti-racketeering laws, claiming that all players in state-legalized pot enterprises are de facto racketeers.

In one suit, a couple joined by the Safe Street Alliance—a D.C.-based group that opposes legalization—claims that the building of a marijuana cultivation facility next to their vacation home is obscuring “sweeping mountain vistas that include views of Pike’s Peak” that has made the property less suitable to hiking and horseback riding. In the other suit, a Holiday Inn in Frisco, Colo., is claiming that the planned opening of a marijuana shop nearby is already hurting their business, driving away families who won’t book there anymore.

These come after the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma asked the Supreme Court to strike down Colorado’s legalization law in December, claiming that sales of marijuana in the neighboring state are undermining their own bans on marijuana, costing them money and making more work for their law enforcement officers. The Colorado Attorney General said that case, which is ongoing, is “without merit.”

Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, calls the two new suits “fairly frivolous” and the complaints “flimsy.” Marijuana law expert Sam Kamin, a law professor at the University of Denver suggested that the suits had flaws in comments made to the Denver Post, saying that the businesses the plaintiffs are objecting to aren’t even operating yet—and that being angered by obscured views might not be enough of a legal nuisance to stand on. “You have to show that your business or property interest were harmed by a corrupt organization,” Kamin told the Post. “Displeasure is not good enough.” Christian Sederberg, a Colorado lawyer dedicated to working with marijuana businesses, says that the suits appear to have a “a real challenge in terms of showing actual injuries.”

While there’s still no clear winner in the battle over legalizing weed, advocates for the cause are moving apace. In recent weeks, they’ve helped push several state bills to decriminalize or legalize marijuana in places from Texas to Vermont. In response to the Holiday Inn lawsuit, MPP began a Change.org petition on Friday, calling on people to boycott the entire hotel chain until the lawsuit is dropped. In 13 hours, the petition gained more than 5,000 signatures.

TIME justice

Criminal Justice Reform is Becoming Washington’s Bipartisan Cause

But consensus may not beget success in Congress.

The need to reform the broken U.S. criminal-justice system is fast becoming the rare cause for which Washington’s warring factions will lay down their weapons and work together.

Normally fierce adversaries, a wide-ranging coalition of advocacy groups on both sides of the political spectrum announced Thursday that they are joining forces in a bid to fix the flaws of the U.S. justice system. The new group, dubbed the Coalition for Public Safety, bills itself as the nation’s largest partnership dedicated to reducing the prison population and reforming its iniquities.

The group includes some of the powerhouses in the conservative world, including Koch Industries and Americans for Tax Reform, as well as major advocacy groups on the left like the Center for American Progress and the American Civil Liberties Union. Among the groups underwriting the roughly $5 million effort are nonpartisan think tanks like the Ford Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Christine Leonard, a former associate director of legislative affairs in the Obama administration’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, will serve as the coalition’s executive director.

“There is a political sweet spot on criminal justice reform,” said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference Education Fund, one of the coalition’s members.

The seed of the idea was planted last October, when an array of think tanks and advocacy groups from all points on the political spectrum assembled in Washington for a spirited meeting. Finding broad agreement, they agreed to team up despite longstanding acrimony on a host of other policy issues. “Did anyone on any planet imagine these Republicans and Democrats would come together for a common cause?” asked Matt Kibbe, president of the Tea Party group FreedomWorks and another participant in the coalition.

The group’s formation is just the latest sign of the emerging bipartisan agreement about the flaws riddling the justice system. The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any developed nation, with about 2.2 million people behind bars, a figure that has leaped 500% over the past three decades. It jails 25% of the world’s prisoners, 60% of whom are racial and ethnic minorities. The one-in-three Americans with a criminal record struggle to reintegrate into society because of employment, housing and voting restrictions that boost recidivism rates.

But consensus does not always mean progress. Members of the coalition cautioned that coalescing around principles is merely a first step. Several pieces of justice-reform legislation have thus far languished in Congress despite bipartisan backing. While the coalition on Thursday lauded federal efforts to reform the civil-asset forfeiture process and adjust mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, it declined to delve into much detail nor to sketch out a strategy for threading complex legislation through a divided Congress. “This is not all going to get done quickly,” Leonard acknowledged. “It’s a challenging environment up there.”

Indeed, it wasn’t long ago that immigration reform was Capitol’s bipartisan cause, backed by powerful lawmakers and advocacy groups on both sides of the aisle. Yet comprehensive reform remains elusive, and a dispute over President Obama’s executive actions on immigration has led to the prospect of a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security later this month.

The coalition’s members were realistic about the long road ahead. The damage wrought by decades of bad policy will take “years to undo,” said ACLU executive director Anthony Romero, who cited a “unique window” to address the issue. “We finally have the wind at our backs.”

TIME Immigration

Texas Judge at Center of Obama Case No Stranger to Border Fights

Immigration Lawsuit Andrew S. Hanen
Brad Doherty—Brownsville Herald/AP U.S. Southern District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, left, recites the Pledge of Allegiance during the United States Courthouse naming ceremony in Brownsville, Texas, Nov. 14, 2005.

Andrew S. Hanen went from big city lawyer to South Texas judge

A federal judge in Texas became the latest supporting player to take center stage in the nation’s ongoing immigration drama. But for U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, the southern border with Mexico has always played a starring role.

On Monday night, Hanen ordered the Obama Administration to stop a plan to defer deportations for up to 5 million people who are in the U.S. illegally while a lawsuit filed by 26 states plays out in the courts. The order drew praise from many Republicans as well as criticism from opponents who quickly cast him as a “staunch critic” of the president’s immigration policy.

“[The deferred deportation program] does not represent mere inadequacy; it is complete abdication,” Hanen wrote. “The [Department of Homeland Security] does have discretion in the manner in which it chooses to fulfill the expressed will of Congress. It cannot, however, enact a program whereby it not only ignores the dictates of Congress, but actively acts to thwart them.”

Hanen is no stranger to the issues involved. For the last 12 years, the problems that have occupied not only the Rio Grande Valley, but the wider nation — drug trafficking, political corruption, border disputes and now, immigration — have been center stage in his South Texas courtroom. Hanen, an appointee of George W. Bush, has presided over high profile racketeering trials involving state and local officials, sat in judgment on a parade of smuggling and drug cases, and ridden herd over eminent domain lawsuits prompted by the federal government’s desire to build a fence along the Texas-Mexico border.

Attorneys who have practiced in his court told Texas Lawyer on Tuesday that Hanen, who was a respected civil litigation attorney with one of Houston’s establishment law firms before becoming a federal judge in 2002, is a well-liked conservative with a libertarian streak.

The tumult paraded into Hanen’s Brownsville courtroom is a far cry from the hushed, lush surroundings of his early career. After graduating first in his class at Baylor Law School in 1978, Hanen, known to friends as “Andy,” went to work as a briefing clerk for one of the most esteemed figures in Texas judicial history, Chief Justice Joe Greenhill, the longest-serving justice on the Texas Supreme Court. Greenhill was a Democrat, but then so were the overwhelming majority of officeholders and Texas leading lawyers in those days. The two became close enough that Hanen was one of the speakers at Greenhill’s memorial service in 2011. After a year of clerking, Hanen joined Andrews Kurth, a powerful Houston-based firm whose alumni include former U.S. Secretary of State and Bush family consigliere James Baker.

Hanen began donating to Republican candidates in the 1990s, contributing small sums to U.S. Senator Phil Gramm. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush nominated him to the federal bench, but he was never confirmed. The younger Bush tried again with more success; in May, 2002, Hanen was confirmed to the bench of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Texas by a 97-0 Senate vote.

Since then, close observers say Hanen’s tenure has often been marked by a concern for signs of government overreach. “Sure, he’s a conservative, but he also has what might be called a libertarian bent, certainly with regards to property rights,” says Terence M. Garrett, a professor of government at the University of Texas, Brownsville.

In 2008, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security filed hundreds of eminent domain lawsuits in an effort to build the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Hanen has traveled to many of the disputed properties to look over the land and examine issues like access to water rights along the river. In January, Texas Lawyer noted Hanen had the most unresolved cases, some 136, on his docket in the district, thanks, in large part, to the DHS cases.

In some of the cases, Garrett says, Hanen’s rulings slowed the agency’s rush to build the fence which, he adds, was an unpopular undertaking among Valley residents from both sides of the political fence. “He caused DHS to at least respect the law,” Garrett says. Hanen told Texas Lawyer he could move the cases along faster by ordering the landowners into court, but he had chosen not to: “The added problem is, as a judge, you could force these things to trial, but it’s not fair to the land owner. … To make them go to trial with a lawyer when they are in the midst of negotiating with the government would cost them more than they will ever receive.”

The realities of life in South Texas also have spilled over into other cases before Hanen, prompting him to castigate federal authorities in a California immigration case for releasing a Salvadoran felon convicted in his court, and criticizing DHS for what he characterized as completing the act of smuggling by reuniting children from Central America with parents in the U.S. illegally.

Those earlier rulings prompted supporters of President Obama’s immigration plan to charge the 26 states attorneys general suing to stop it were judge-shopping when they filed in Brownsville. Hanen responded by implying that his proximity to the border made him particularly well-suited to understand the stakes. “Talking to anyone in Brownsville about immigration is like talking to Noah about the flood,” he said in January.

Indeed, U.S. Border Patrol statistics illustrate the wave of arrivals. In fiscal year 2014, some 256,393 individuals crossed into the Rio Grande Valley sector in which Hanen works, accounting for 52.6% the total crossings along the entire southern border. From Oct. 1, 2014, to Jan. 31, 2015, some 6,434 “unaccompanied alien children” crossed in the Rio Grande Valley sector, down a little from the 7,198 in the same period a year earlier, but still the largest number along the southwest border running from Brownsville to Yuma, Ariz. And the Rio Grande Valley sector has the most drug smuggling cases and the second-most immigration cases involving abuse and other associated felonies, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

Still, not all of the judge’s focus is on the border. In 2013, Hanen sentenced a state district judge, a state representative, a local district attorney and several plaintiffs’ attorneys to prison in a large racketeering scheme. Joel Androphy, a Houston defense attorney who has known Hanen since they were both active in the Houston Bar Association, represented one of the convicted.

“He’s not looking to become famous, he’s looking to do the right thing,” Androphy told Texas Lawyer, adding that he might not agree with him, but “I would trust his judgment.”

TIME Supreme Court

See Ruth Bader Ginsburg Grow from Toddler to Supreme Court Justice

The Supreme Court Justice's life in photos, from camp rabbi to Cornell student, all the way to her appointment to the nation's highest court

TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: February 17

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. Is the Taliban’s fracturing a sign of its demise or a possible turn to a more lethal strategy?

By Sundarsan Raghavan in the Washington Post

2. To fight cybercrime, President Obama needs Silicon Valley.

By Katie Benner in Bloomberg View

3. The FDA needs updated systems to review drugs — made from our own cells — that target cancer and more.

By Peter W. Huber in City Journal

4. Our high incarceration rate no longer reduces crime.

By Lauren-Brooke Eisen in USA Today

5. Better than an action movie: Catch a college lecture on your next commercial flight.

By Kim Clark in Money

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME justice

Pennsylvania Stops Using the Death Penalty

Gov. Tom Wolf Caln speaks during a news conference at Elementary School on Feb. 11, 2015, in Thorndale, Pa.
Matt Rourke—AP Gov. Tom Wolf Caln speaks during a news conference at Elementary School on Feb. 11, 2015, in Thorndale, Pa.

The governor will grant temporary reprieves until the state reaches a final decision

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said Friday that the state has effectively put a moratorium on the death penalty.

While Wolf awaits a report from a task force on the state’s use of capital punishment, he will grant temporary reprieves for all death row inmates whose executions are scheduled. That begins with Terrance Williams, who was slated to be executed on March 4.

Wolf noted said the moratorium “is in no way an expression of sympathy for the guilty on death row, all of whom have been convicted of committing heinous crimes.” But he also said capital punishment is expensive, possibly ineffective and sometimes inaccurate—six Pennsylvania men have been exonerated from death row.

TIME Race

Minorities Face Significant Barriers to Home Ownership in the U.S., Report Says

'It's clear that the housing playing field remains strikingly unequal in this country'

Minorities continue to face significant barriers to home ownership in the U.S., according to a new report.

The report, released by online real estate database Zillow, shows a significant disparity in home ownership, property values and home loan approval rates between white and minority communities.

Read More: The Long, Tangled Roots of the Michael Brown Shooting

More than 25% of loan applications by black applicants in the U.S. are denied, compared with 10% of their white counterparts, the report found. Additionally, nearly three in four white Americans own their homes, compared to less than half of black and Hispanic Americans.

The value of homes owned by minorities also tended to be less stable. While prices in white neighborhoods have largely recovered from the economic downturn of 2008, home prices in predominantly black and Hispanic neighborhoods remain well below peak levels.

“It’s clear that the housing playing field remains strikingly unequal in this country,” Zillow Chief Economist Stan Humphries said in a statement.

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