SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new report analyzing data from 2017 shows almost no racial profiling by police in California, but its already being called into question.
The report produced numbers so low, the board overseeing the numbers wants law enforcement agencies to encourage people to come forward. Critics argue it also paints a picture of law enforcement protecting their own, and not addressing the big problem.
Community activists and leaders say while they welcome transparency from law enforcement, the latest numbers from the racial profiling report are too low and do not paint an accurate picture for minorities in Sacramento.
The RIPA Board began in July of 2016 as part of the Racial and Identity Profiling Act. Law enforcement says recoding their stops is good for the public.
“We’re very transparent were committed to transparency with our community. We are making changes to make sure our terminology is standardized with the Department of Justice,” said Sacramento Police Officer Marcus Vasquez.
The report is 83 pages long and critics argue it does not paint an accurate picture of what’s going on in California. Page 40 on the report indicates that out of 18 complaints, Sacramento police did not have any reports of racial profiling.
“It’s a joke. It’s an absolute joke. How can you not have racial profiling in 2017?” said NAACP Sacramento President Betty Williams.
At Monday’s Sacramento community police review meeting, Deputy Chief Ken Bernard said internal affairs complaints were miscategorized.
“Because we didn’t include our informal inquiries, that’s why our numbers are so low. We just included what’s standardized and our formal complaints,” Vasquez said.
The report indicates the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department received 325 complaints with 10 reports of racial profiling. The Sheriff’s Department is double the size, and activists their department is a big problem.
“We haven’t really had the type of proof to let us know we can really trust the data and the process and I have a lot of questions around how law enforcement is really giving us the truth,” said Rev. Ben McBride, Co-Director of PICO California.
In California, 17 percent of law enforcement agencies did not register a single complaint in 2017. Williams says it’s unrealistic, and reporting the numbers needs to change.
“If you never get a ticket, but you’re getting stopped every time in your own driveway, 20 times a year, that’s racial profiling. Why wouldn’t you document that?” Williams said.
The RIPA report will be on the agenda for the next police services board meeting. A handful of activists at the meeting Monday plan to return to take a hard look at the numbers.