New Study Shows Blacks in California Pulled Over More Than Others

The study found that police in large California law enforcement units were almost twice as likely to pull over a black person than a white person over a “reasonable suspicion”.

What We Know: 

  • The report also shows that the police are three times more likely to search a black person they stopped than their white counterpart. Only Native Americans have a higher chance of getting arrested as a result of a search.
  • On December 26, the California Department of Justice released data of new laws AB 953, AB 619 written by Assemblywoman Shirly Weber, D-San Diego to help rebuild trust between the black neighborhood and police officers. At the same time, Weber also said this law will allow California to shed light on this problem and hold those police officers accountable while also finding a way to make things right.
  • Sometime last year, Weber wrote a law that changed the standard of when police officers are allowed to use deadly force. Weber said to Governor Gavin Newsom after signing the use of force law: “For 400 years, people of color have often had a different kind of justice than others in this nation… After 400 years of demonstrating our commitment and humanity to this nation, we deserve fairness and justice.”
  • Because of Weber’s laws, starting 2023 every police department will be required to submit data to the justice department for review.
  • This report was based on traffic stop data from eight of California’s largest police departments: The California Highway Patrol, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, San Diego Police Department and San Francisco Police Department.
  • Black people make up about six percent of California’s population but account for 15 percent of the traffic stops reported between July 2018 to April 2019. In comparison, whites make up 33 percent of California’s population and accounted for 33 percent of the stops. Hispanics also make up 41 percent and were 40 percent of stops.
  • Sacramento law enforcement are set to set to release their traffic stop data by April. On their first report, they released racial profiling complaints.
  • The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office had recorded 303 complaints and of those 8 were considered to be profiling. The Sacramento police department recorded 4 complaints none of which were for profiling.

Kings County Sheriff Dave Robinson, a co-chairman of the advisory board, called the report “just the beginning of information that will allow even greater transparency for law enforcement and our communities – allowing us to grow together working on local and statewide areas of concern.”