Recently, the LA Times released data from an analysis of the Los Angeles Police Department showing that the police department’s Metropolitan Division stops African American drivers at a significantly disproportionate rate compared to the percentage of African Americans in the city’s overall population. In response to the report, Mayor Garcetti order an audit of the division by the Office of the Inspector General to look into the findings. He also ordered the LAPD division to scale back its vehicle stops.
Los Angeles police misconduct attorneys know that sometimes police officers’ conduct violates the constitutional rights that every citizen is afforded and that is why we are watching this story closely. If police unfairly target a particular demographic, the conduct must be stopped and stricter policies and procedures should be put into place to protect constitutional rights.
LA Times analysis
According to the Times article, in 2015, the LAPD doubled the size of its Metropolitan Division to target specific high crime areas in order to reduce crime and make streets safer. Officers began pulling over drivers to search for guns and drugs and by 2018, it found that officers were pulling over nearly 14 times more vehicles than before 2015.
The part of the analysis that has raised alarms is that officers in the Metropolitan Division were stopping black drivers at a rate of more than five times their share of Los Angeles’s population. 28% of drivers pulled over were African American who represents only 9% of the city’s population.
California mayor’s orders
As mentioned above, Mayor Garcetti ordered the Metropolitan Division to reduce vehicle stops and an audit of the Metropolitan Division conducted by the Office of the Inspector General. He explained that the audit will be used to get information instead of having speculation because he wants the story and not just the statistics.
Police response to the newspaper report and the mayor
LAPD Chief, Michael Moore said that the audit by the Office of the Inspector General was already planned prior to the mayor’s request. The chief said that his officers were not engaged in racial profiling, but acknowledged that the data presented was having a corrosive effect on African Americans.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League, which is the union representing police officers, challenges the implications behind the statistics stating that police target behavior and not skin color. The league described the newspaper’s analysis as having left out contextual data in order to paint police officers as racists. The analysis excludes information such as why drivers were pulled over and whether or not drivers were arrested.
Los Angeles police misconduct attorneys at JML Law know that police racial profiling does happen, but it does not stop there. Other types of police misconduct may include dishonesty such as cover-up and falsifying evidence, excessive force, and brutality.
If you or a loved one has been victimized by law enforcement officers, contact one of our attorneys to discuss your claim and resulting injuries and damages. You have constitutional rights and our attorneys will work to protect those rights.