ACLU Calls on Los Angeles Police Commission to Require LAPD to Collect Traffic Stop Statistics

October 20, 1999 12:00 am

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LOS ANGELES — In a letter to the Los Angeles Police Commission, the American Civil Liberties Union today urged the panel to require the Los Angeles Police Department to collect traffic stop statistics, including the race and ethnicity of the driver.

Earlier today, the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion requesting LAPD Chief Bernard Parks to report to their Public Safety Committee, as well as the Police Commission, on how the LAPD should go about collecting statistics on the race of motorists stopped by its officers.

“While we applaud the City Council for providing leadership on this issue, the widespread and deeply damaging perception among many Angelenos of color that many LAPD traffic stops are racially motivated merits a far more significant response from public officials,” said Ramona Ripston, executive director of the ACLU of Southern California. “The perception that there are two tiers of law enforcement in this country, and more specifically, in this city, is simply too strong to ignore. It must be addressed now.”

In less than a year, the ACLU’s statewide toll-free racial profiling hotline has received more than 2,000 calls from motorists who believe they have been subjected to racial profiling.

The California number is 1-877-DWB- STOP. The Spanish language hotline is 1-877-PARALOS, 1-877-727-2567. A national toll free number has also been established; it is 1-877-6-PROFILE. Finally, a web-based complaint form can be found at: /profiling/report_incident/index.html.

To date, more than 34 law enforcement agencies in California, including the California Highway Patrol and police departments in San Francisco, San Jose and San Diego, have voluntarily agreed to collect data regarding the race and ethnicity of motorists stopped by police.

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