Verified L.A. Racial Profiling Complaints? “A Big Fat Zero”


Los Angeles Police Department officials investigated more than 300 complaints of racial profiling against officers last year and found that none had merit, reports the Los Angeles Times. The conclusion left members of the department’s oversight commission incredulous. It is at least the sixth consecutive year that all allegations of racial profiling against LAPD officers have been dismissed. In 2007, the police Internal Affairs Group closed 320 investigations into allegations that officers stopped, questioned or otherwise confronted someone solely because of the person’s race. Nearly 80 percent of the time the claims were dismissed outright as “unfounded,” said a report yesterday to the civilian Police Commission. In the remaining cases, there was either insufficient evidence to reach a conclusion or no misconduct was uncovered.

“A big, fat zero,” said a visibly flummoxed Commissioner John Mack, who is African American and the former president of the Los Angeles Urban League. “In my mind, there is no such thing as a perfect institution [] I find it baffling that we have these zeros.” Police Chief William Bratton said he would survey other large, urban police departments, to back up his belief that the findings are similar elsewhere. Allegations of racial profiling, he said, hinge on what the officer was thinking at the time and, so, are nearly impossible to prove without a confession. “It goes to the officer’s state of mind. How do you get inside someone’s mind?” he said.


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