Gretna, Louisiana has a big problem.
The peaceful suburb of the storied area is known for its racial climate — according to National Geographic one out of every three residents in the town was arrested in 2013. Eight out of nine residents are Black.
In a new episode of National Geographic’s critically acclaimed series EXPLORER, journalist Baratunde Thurston investigates how such a small town could arrest people at five times the rate of Baltimore.
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“We’re seeing people struggle to get their court fees paid and feeling really trapped in that system,” Thurston says while questioning Gretna Mayor Belinda Constant about the arrests that disproportionately affect those living in poverty.
“And so three years later and for something that felt definitely non-violent, kind of minor, they’re not feeling that same love. It’s kind of the flip side of the highly responsive police force.”
Watch Constant’s response to the arrests, debtors prisons and the police response in the clip above.
Catch the episode on Monday, Nov. 21 at 10 pm ET.