WASHINGTON - The Georgetown Business Improvement District started using an app called GroupMe last year to connect local businesses and residents with police officers.
Since then, it has become a way to warn about suspicious and criminal activity in the popular retail and residential area.
But a review of messages on the app conducted by The Georgetowner found that African Americans are reported for suspicious behavior, such as shoplifting, at a very high rate.
Using a sample of 330 messages, the newspaper said 236 of them, or 72 percent, described black people.
Users of the app only flagged 16 white people for committing some sort of crime or business disruption, according to the sample of messages reviewed by The Georgetowner.