Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The report by Yale Law School professor Ian Ayres for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California found that once stopped, African Americans were 29% more likely to be arrested than whites. Latinos were 32% more likely to be arrested in an identical category.
At the same time, the report found that LAPD officers were less likely to find weapons or drugs on blacks or Latinos than whites when they frisked them or subjected them to consensual searches.
Police Chief William J. Bratton said he strongly disagreed with the report's findings. Among other criticisms, Bratton said the study was flawed because it used data collected four years ago and did not reflect the department's current practices.
"Dr. Ayres' conclusions completely misread situations that are not nearly as black and white as he would want them to be," Sands said. "It's an exercise that might work on a spreadsheet at Yale but doesn't work on the streets of Los Angeles."
Union officials noted that the LAPD is a "majority minority" department, mirroring the demographic trends of Los Angeles, and that most officers work in pairs that represent more than one race. [Mark Godsey]