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SACRAMENTO — New data released last Friday in the California Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board’s fifth annual report found that traffic and pedestrian stops by law enforcement decreased significantly in 2020 compared to the previous year. .

However, the data collection effort found that black or transgender people were still more likely to be searched than white or cisgender people by California police officers.

California Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board report: People perceived to be black were searched at 2.4 times the rate of people perceived to be white

The advisory board collected, reviewed and collated data from 18 law enforcement agencies, including the state’s 15 largest agencies, on approximately 2.9 million vehicle and pedestrian stops.

The state’s largest law enforcement agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, provided data for the report. But CHP data was not included in the section of the report analyzing stops based on gender identity due to a reporting error.

The data includes how law enforcement officers perceive an individual’s race or gender, even if it is different from how the person identifies, because the officer’s perception is what which fuels prejudice. This was particularly noted in data for people perceived to be transgender women who were 2.5 times more likely to be searched than women who appear to be cisgender.

“This fifth annual report from the Advisory Council on Racial and Identity Profiling provides important analysis of police stops, use of force, and differential experiences with law enforcement across California’s diverse communities,” said Steven Raphael. , Co-Chair of the Council and Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley.

“The data collection effort has grown and will soon reach universal reporting of stops, use of force and civil complaints from all state law enforcement agencies, setting a new national standard. The analysis in this year’s report opens up new insights into the experiences with law enforcement of people with mental and physical disabilities, the experiences of members of the LGBTQ+ community, in addition to the analysis detailed breakdown of the results of the judgments by race, ethnicity and sex contained in previous reports,” Raphaël pointed out.

“The data in this report and in future reports is critical to fostering dialogue between California residents and law enforcement and will also inform policy dedicated to ensuring fair and unbiased policing practices. I am grateful for the tireless work of DOJ’s legal and research staff as well as the efforts and dedication of fellow board members and members of the public who attend our meetings throughout the year,” he added.

All law enforcement agencies in California are required to begin reporting data in 2023. The council’s work informs agencies, the state police bureau training council, and legislators across the state. state when they change policies and seek to reduce racial disparities and biases in policing.

Los Angeles Blade file photo via LAPD

“The data in this report will be used by our profession to assess our practices as we continue to strive to deliver policing services that match the service expectations of our communities,” said Chief David Swing, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors and Past President of the California Association of Chiefs of Police.

“Our goal is for the information in this report to lead to collaborative conversations that strengthen partnerships and relationships with the communities we serve. Thank you to my colleagues on the Board of Directors and the staff of the Department of Justice for your contributions and commitment to improving policing in California.

In a review of data disclosed by the advisory board included:

  • Number of stops: In 2020, 18 law enforcement agencies, including California’s 15 largest agencies, collected data on approximately 2.9 million vehicle and pedestrian stops. This represents a 26.5% reduction from the number of arrests reported in 2019, likely due to COVID-19.
  • Research prices: People perceived as black were searched at 2.4 times the rate of people perceived as white. Overall, officers searched 18,777 more people perceived to be black than those perceived to be white. Additionally, transgender women were searched for at 2.5 times the rate of individuals perceived as cisgender women.
  • Result of the stop: At the end of a stop, officers must report the outcome, for example, no action taken, warning or citation given, or arrest. For people perceived to be black, officers reported “no action taken” 2.3 times more often than for people perceived to be white, indicating that a higher rate of people arrested who were perceived to be black were not not actually engaged in illegal activities.
  • Rate of use of force: Officers used force against people perceived to be black at 2.6 times the rate of individuals perceived to be white. Additionally, officers used force against people perceived to have a mental disability at 5.2 times the rate of people perceived to have no disability.
  • Stops for traffic violations: A higher proportion of traffic stops of people perceived as Hispanic or black were for immobility or equipment related offenses compared to people perceived as white. For example, the proportion of such checks initiated for window obstruction violations was nearly 2.5 times higher for people perceived as Hispanic and 1.9 times higher for people perceived as Black compared to people perceived as as white.
  • Population comparison: Using data from the 2019 American Community Survey, people perceived to be black were overrepresented in stop data by 10 percentage points and people perceived to be white or Asian were underrepresented by three and nine percentage points , respectively, relative to weighted residential population estimates. .

Of all the stops recorded in 2020, 40% of people would be Hispanic, 16.5% Black, 31.7% White, 5.2% Asian and 4.7% Middle Eastern or South Asian. Blacks make up only 6.5% of the state’s population. Officers arrested 445,000 more whites than blacks, but took action against 9,431 more blacks, according to the report.

Overall, black people were the most likely to be searched, detained, handcuffed, and told to get out of their vehicle. Officers were more likely to use force against blacks and Hispanics, the data showed. People perceived as Asian were less likely to be victims of use of force than white people.

“California is leading the charge in collecting and analyzing police stop data,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta said. “To date, the state has provided the public with in-depth insight into nearly 9 million police stops. This information is critical, and these annual reports continue to provide a plan to strengthen policing based on data and insights. facts. I am grateful to the RIPA Board of Directors and all the staff of the California Department of Justice for making this latest report possible. As a legislator, I was proud to co-author the bill that led to this effort and, now as Attorney General, I am committed to taking this work forward.

The 18 law enforcement agencies that reported 2020 RIPA data, which includes the top three reporting agencies, were the Bakersfield Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Davis Police Department, Department of Fresno Police, Long Beach Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, LAPD. Department, Los Angeles Unified School District Police Department, Oakland Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento Police Department , San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego Police Department, San Francisco Police Department, and San Jose Police Department.

To learn more about RIPA data, members of the public are encouraged to visit the online RIPA Data Dashboards available at OpenJustice. Dashboards provide a unique view of data and will be updated with new data to help increase public access to information about the millions of stops and searches made across California in 2020.

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