ACLU Slams LAPD With Allegations of Racial Profiling

LOS ANGELES -- Blacks and Latinos are more likely than whites to be stopped, searched and arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department, according to a report released Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.

Earlier this year, the Police Commission was told that 252 out of 320 allegations of officers confronting someone solely because of race were unfounded. The remaining cases were dropped due to insufficient evidence or a lack of evidence of misconduct.

The ACLU looked at 810,000 field stops between July 1, 2003, and June 30, 2004. The group found there were 4,569 stops per 10,000 black residents, compared to 1,750 stops per 10,000 white residents.

Black and Latino residents were more than twice as likely than whites to be ordered out of their vehicles. They also were more likely to be searched during that stop.

"The Los Angeles Police Department has taken several significant steps in recent months to address racially biased policing. However, as this analysis of data provided to us by the department shows, there's a lot more that should be done," said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California.

"We look forward to working with the department to institute improved training and other procedures that will keep the LAPD moving toward the goal of eliminating any bias in its work."

A report presented to the Police Commission in August found that 19 police agencies from across the country received 371 racial profiling complaints over a two-year period, and four were substantiated.

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