An independent examination of how the Los Angeles Police Department investigates officers accused of profiling people based on race, gender or sexual orientation found serious problems with a third of the sampled investigations, reports the city’s Times. In six of 20 LAPD investigations into allegations of “biased policing” — the department’s new name for what has traditionally been termed racial profiling — police failed to interview witnesses, did not ask important questions or made similar mistakes, concluded Andre Birotte, the inspector general, in the 41-page report.
Birotte’s staff also found problems with the resolution of several cases, saying supervisors’ decisions not to discipline the officers were “not based on information gathered” or “appeared to be unsupported because the underlying investigation was incomplete.” LAPD Cmdr. Rick Webb, who oversees internal affairs, agreed that some of the errors highlighted in the report had been made, but disputed the conclusion that they affected the investigations’ outcomes. How the department handles claims of biased policing has become a high-profile issue in the last few years.