After the L.A. Times wrote an article bemoaning the increased number of vehicle stops made by Los Angeles police of black drivers, the Mayor of Los Angeles has ordered the department to ‘scale back’ the number of pull overs.
The crime suppression strategy doesn’t sit well with the ACLU.
“The Times investigation found that nearly half the drivers stopped by Metro were black. That has helped drive up the share of African Americans stopped by the LAPD overall from 21% to 28% since the Metro expansion, in a city that is 9 percent black.
“In South L.A., which is 31% black, 65% of the drivers stopped by Metro were black.
“Last week, in response to the Times findings, Garcetti called for an audit of Metro stops. A similar audit by the LAPD’s Office of Inspector General was already in the works and is expected to be released late this year.”
According to a May 2001 Drug Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center, Los Angeles was home to 1,350 gangs. However, according to the LAPD website, the number of active gangs in the city is around 450.
Now, the government’s National Gang Center outlines the racial demographics of most gangs since 2011.
|Average Race/Ethnicity of Gang Members
by Area Type, 2011
|Larger Cities||Suburban Counties||Smaller Cities||Rural Counties|
|Black or African American||39.0%||32.7%||20.3%||56.8%|
|Hispanic or Latino||45.5||51.0||53.8||24.8|
The ACLU and other community ‘groups’ apparently discount such information.
Garcetti announced in 2015 that a strong stance would be taken against crime, and the result has been vehicle stops going from a few thousand to nearly 60,000 last year.
The Times wrote, “Unlike regular patrol officers, Metro crime suppression officers, who numbered about 270 last year, often spend their shifts on vehicle stops and other “proactive” policing tactics intended to root out violent criminals.”
The pretextual stops that are used to initiate the pull overs are conducted on people who are already violating the law, like having a taillight out or some other motor vehicle infraction.
But after the backlash from the groups, which include the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and Community Coalition, the Mayor is backing off on the pulls overs.
Those groups demand more youth programs and mental health services. So basically, they want to take money and pour it into bureaucratic wasteful programs, rather than getting criminals off the streets.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement, “I have directed the Chief of Police to prioritize other elements of our comprehensive crime reduction strategy, beyond vehicle stops, until we learn more—so that we can accelerate the reduction in vehicle stops that has been achieved since they peaked a couple of years ago.”
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.
Alberto Retana, president and CEO of Community Coalition, said the paper’s findings were “gut-wrenching” because they confirmed the feelings of black residents who think police are targeting them.
The Times ‘investigation’ did not prove that officers were racial profiling.
Melanie Ochoa, an attorney with the ACLU of Southern California, claimed that Metro’s mission in South L.A., with officers driving around looking for people who might have guns or drugs, means that “harassment and targeted policing are baked into the way it operates.”
Yeah, because people with drugs and unlicensed firearms are upstanding citizens, right?
After the letter was sent to Garcetti, he immediately acquiesced to the demands.