The Los Angeles Police Department is committed to fair and constitutional policing. We strive to ensure our stops and searches are lawful and done in a manner that builds community trust. Should we fall short of that standard we move quickly to take corrective action, including discipline when appropriate.
Regarding the LA Times analysis of some of our stop and search data, we do not believe the information provided tells a complete story. While the numbers presented reflect racial disparities when compared to the proportions of residential population, they do not define or describe the circumstances of each stop or search. As the LA Times has previously reported, the disparities neither prove nor disprove racial profiling or other improper action by the Department or individual officer involved.
It is our expectation that every contact with the public is conducted in a lawful and respectful manner, based on reasonable suspicion or consent regardless of race or ethnicity. The Department responds to and investigates any instance in which a motorist believes the officers’ actions were improper. Additionally, our uniform personnel now have body-worn cameras which provides all involved the ability to later review the facts and circumstances of any stop or search.
Policing Los Angeles requires the flexibility to respond to changing criminal activity and for the ability to deploy resources into communities that are being victimized. We are mindful that these heightened responses may create anxiety at times for portions of communities that may already feel “over-policed.” Most recently we have taken steps to more actively manage the actual number of personnel in some of these neighborhoods to avoid the perception of a constant over-deployment. Additionally, we have reinforced expectations that each stop be conducted in a manner demonstrating our respect for the communities we serve.
A sense of safety by our communities is built on trust. Trust that each action of an officer is fair and constitutional. The Department has no tolerance for any officer that would use race as a basis for a stop or search.