Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered police to scale back on vehicle stops in response to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times showing that an elite unit was pulling over a disproportionate number of African Americans, the newspaper reports.
In a written statement Wednesday, Garcetti said he is “deeply concerned” about The Times’ findings that Metropolitan Division officers stop black drivers at a rate more than five times their share of the population. Pointing to decreases in homicides and violent crimes last year, Garcetti said that progress in fighting crime needs to come with gains in public trust. He said that reducing vehicle stops, which are perceived by some black residents as racially discriminatory, in favor of other policing techniques will help to build that trust. On Tuesday, citing the Times investigation, civil rights and community groups called on Garcetti to withdraw Metro from South L.A.The groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Community Coalition, are also asking for more youth programs, mental health services and community policing.