City Controller’s Report – Arrest from 2019-2022 NR23225bb

August 1, 2023

Los Angeles: The Department has reviewed the Los Angeles City Controller’s Office report identifying the general location and racial make-up of arrests within the City of Los Angeles from 2019-22.1 The report highlighted the racial disparity between the percentage of Black and Hispanic arrestees and the residential make up of these two groups as well as the concentration of arrests in the particular neighborhoods in the city.

The Department recognizes the disparities identified are consistent with other overrepresentation when comparing select groups of individuals in relationship to residential populations. For example, while Black Angelenos make up 8 percent of the residential population they represent 24 percent of violent crime victims and 39 percent of homicide victims. Similarly, when combined, Black and Hispanic victims represent 70 percent of reported violent crime and 87 percent of homicides.

Regarding offender demographics, Black individuals are reported offenders in 41 percent of violent crime, 39 percent of homicides, and 50 percent of robberies. When combined, Black and Hispanic individuals are reported offenders in 81 percent of violent crime and 79 percent of aggravated assaults. Additionally, when violent crime arrest rates are overlayed with rates of violent crime in particular neighborhoods, similar concentrations are found.

Arrest demographics are important in understanding the interplay between those engaged in criminal activity and arrest activity. Several studies including the Center for Policing Equity & Policing Project identify that disparities in and of themselves do not mean discrimination exists. Significant other factors such as the roles of poverty, education, and under resourced communities have critical implications.

The Controller’s Office used data from the Mayor’s Open Data Portal (ODP). By comparing LAPD data and the ODP (and that used by the Controller’s Office) it appears that over the four years, 12.3%, or 35,320 of 232,261 arrests were made by non-LAPD entities / private persons and booked in LAPD facilities. This includes 16,052 Private Persons Arrests, 3,995 LAWA Police arrests, and 7,751 CHP arrests. In addition, the arrests include individuals who do not reside in the City of Los Angeles.

The Department strives to ensure its actions demonstrate its adherence to Constitutional Policing Principles free of bias or discrimination. Each arrest must stand on its own rooted in probable cause and evidence including victim and witness accounts, forensic evidence when available, and the most recent advent of body worn video recording the actions of all involved.

Of significant importance is the Department’s partnership with our communities to build trust and engagement that foster healthier relationships. To ensure its enforcement strategies are centered effectively in identifying those responsible for preying upon others while not over policing or acting in a suppressive manner to an entire community.