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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Questions of Racial Profiling in L.A. Remain Unanswered

From latimes.com: Latino and African American motorists in most areas of Los Angeles are significantly more likely than whites to be asked during police stops to leave their vehicles and submit to searches, according to the latest study ordered by the city. However, the study group said its detailed analysis of the data cannot determine whether the different treatment is a sign of racial profiling by officers.

The collection and analysis of racial data involving vehicle and pedestrian stops was one of the requirements of a federal consent decree that was approved by a judge five years ago in response to allegations that the LAPD has engaged in a pattern of civil rights abuses, including the framing and shooting of minority residents by members of the Rampart anti-gang unit.

Racial profiling is one possible explanation, said Michael Smith, an author of the report, but he said there are other possibilities as well. "Ultimately, decisions are made by individuals, and an aggregate analysis like this can't climb into the minds of officers out there," Smith told the commission. Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]

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