Race and Policing
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In 2021, Gente Organizada released a first-of-its-kind report on racial profiling practices in local law enforcement in the City of Pomona. Pomona Police Department's Crusade Against Black and Latinx Youth presents clear evidence of the Pomona Police Department (PPD)'s longstanding history of discrimination and harassment focused on BIPOC youth.Using quantitative data sourced from the PPD, the 18-page report examines trends in the arrests of young people— both juveniles and transitional-aged adults— under the age of 25 between January 2016 and June 2020. In addition to highlighting racial disparities in policing, the report also calls out patterns in youth arrests according to race, sex, charge level, and charge categories.
The recent protests and civil unrest that marked the death of George Floyd and other African Americans in police custody gave voice to real and significant racial disparities in our criminal justice system. In California, like the rest of the nation, these disparities—especially those between African Americans and whites—are large and widespread. Encouragingly, some recent reforms appear to be making headway in reducing racial and ethnic differences in arrest, booking, and incarceration rates.
This paper, which is a product of DCJ's Research Network on Misdemeanor Justice ("the Research Network"), examines long-term trends in lower-level enforcement across seven U.S. jurisdictions: Durham, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Louisville, KY; New York City, NY; Prince George's County; MD; Seattle, WA; and St. Louis, MO. It draws both on reports that were produced through partnerships between local researchers and criminal justice agency partners as well as updated data the Research Network has published through an interactive online dashboard. The paper analyzed cross-jurisdictional trends in enforcement, including misdemeanor arrest rates broadly, by demographics (race/age/sex), and by charge.
California's Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board (Board) is pleased to release its Third Annual Report. The Board was created by the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015 (RIPA) to shepherd data collection and provide public reports with the ultimate objective to eliminate racial and identity profiling and improve and understand diversity in law enforcement through training, education, and outreach. For the first time, the Board's report includes an analysis of the stop data collected under RIPA, which requires nearly all California law enforcement agencies to submit demographic data on all detentions and searches. This report also provides recommendations that law enforcement can incorporate to enhance their policies, procedures, and trainings on topics that intersect with bias and racial and identity profiling. This report provides the Board's recommendations for next steps for all stakeholders – advocacy groups, community members, law enforcement, and policymakers – who can collectively advance the goals of RIPA. In rendering these recommendations, the Board hopes to further carry out its mission to eliminate racial and identity profiling and improve law enforcement and community relations.
Campaign Zero evaluated the policing practices of San Diego Police Department (SDPD) and San Diego Sheriff's Department (SDSD).Our results show both departments to be engaged in a pattern of discriminatory policing. Both departments stopped black people at a rate more than 2x higher than white people and were more likely to search, arrest, and use force against black people during a stop. Both departments not only use force more often but also use more severe forms of force against black people than other groups, even after controlling for arrest rates and alleged level of resistance.We also found evidence of anti-Latinx bias, anti-LGBT bias and bias against people with disabilities in both departments' search practices.
This report explores the impact of policing on Bay area communities, highlighting the real emergencies that communities are facing, and exploring what emergency responses systems people are currently using and what is desired by communities.Since 2013, Critical Resistance has been part of a campaign called Stop Urban Shield that is fighting to halt the militarization of policing, emergency preparedness and disaster response. Urban Shield is a regional, national and global weapons expo and SWAT training that takes place in the Bay Area. It brings together law enforcement agencies and first responders from across the country and world – including from the apartheid state of Israel – in order for them to train and skill share on repression tactics, military operations and police-coordinated disaster and emergency response. Urban Shield was created by Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern in 2007, and has been held in Alameda County every year since.
Law enforcement agencies around the country are attempting to improve relations with the communities they serve—particularly communities of color. One solution agencies are trying is to offer training courses to their sworn staff. Yet the effects of these courses are unclear.SPARQ had the opportunity to evaluate one promising training: Principled Policing—a daylong course that consists of five modules that aim to improve public and police safety by building trust between them. The first four modules focus on procedural justice, and the fifth focuses on implicit bias. Understanding how implicit bias works could help swornstaff more readily apply procedural justice principles in the field.To evaluate Principled Policing, SPARQ collected and analyzed survey data from 135 course graduates— police executives and law enforcement officials at a variety of ranks—before and after they received the training.
Using footage from body-worn cameras, we analyze the respectfulness of police officer language toward white and black community members during routine traffic stops. We develop computational linguistic methods that extract levels of respect automatically from transcripts, informed by a thin-slicing study of participant ratings of officer utterances. We find that officers speak with consistently less respect toward black versus white community members, even after controlling for the race of the officer, the severity of the infraction, the location of the stop, and the outcome of the stop. Such disparities in common, everyday interactions between police and the communities they serve have important implications for procedural justice and the building of police–community trust.
Law enforcement agencies across the United States are facing claims that they discriminate against community members of color. Inquiries into these claims typically take one of two approaches: either attack the agency for intentional racism, or deny the presence of racial disparities altogether. Yet neither of these approaches has yielded adequate progress toward many agencies' stated mission of serving their communities with fairness and respect. Taking a different approach, the City of Oakland engaged our team of Stanford social psychologists to examine relations between the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and the Oakland community, and then to develop evidence-based remedies for any racial disparities we might find. Since May 2014, our team has undertaken five research initiatives. We describe our research methods, findings, and recommendations in Strategies for Change: Research Initiatives and Recommendations to Improve Police-Community Relations in Oakland, Calif. We provide a technical report of our main research initiative, a thorough analysis of OPD stop reports, in Data for Change: A Statistical Analysis of Police Stops, Searches, Handcuffings, and Arrests in Oakland, Calif., 2013-2014.
New Stanford research on thousands of police interactions found significant racial differences in Oakland, Calif., police conduct toward African Americans in traffic and pedestrian stops, while offering a big data approach to improving police-community relationships there and elsewhere.The report makes 50 specific recommendations for police agencies to consider, such as more expansive data collection and more focused efforts to change the nature of mindsets, policies and systems in law enforcement that contribute to racial disparities.Among the findings, African American men were four times more likely to be searched than whites during a traffic stop. African Americans were also more likely to be handcuffed, even if they ultimately were not arrested.Across the United States, the report noted, police agencies are guided by the commitment to serve communities with fairness, respect and honor. Yet tensions between police and communities of color are documented to be at an all-time high.
People from racial minorities who have mental health conditions are routinely routed to the criminal justice system instead of to alternative, community-based programs shown to better address their needs. Based on extensive community outreach, Dignity and Power Now seeks to highlight race-based disparities in treatment of persons with mental health conditions in Los Angeles (LA) County Jails. The largest jail system in the United States and the world, LA County Jails are often referred to as the nation's largest de-facto mental health hospital warehousing approximately 19,000 pre-sentenced and sentenced individuals. Despite an alarming lack of data on mental health conditions ofpeople from racial minorities held in LA County Jails, increasing numbers of testimonies reveal that the provision of mental health services– where available – is impacted by the race of the prisoner, while lack of access to mental health services leads to incarceration.
This report documents the deaths of 589 people who lived in Los Angeles County and were killed by law enforcement between January 1, 2000 and August 31, 2014. In addition, the report documents all cases – with name, age,race, location and where possible incident details – from January 1, 2007 – August 31, 2014 in order to remember eachindividual; to investigate who is impacted by race, age, gender and community (location of the shooting); and to learnfrom their experiences in an attempt to save lives in the future. Based on these specific case histories, the report looks for trends or commonalities among incidents and raises concerns regarding suspicious and troubling patterns. Finally, the report makes some comparisons between LA and other jurisdictions, and begins to evaluate media's coverage of officer-involved homicides.