Our laws give police extraordinary authority. Based on their judgments in the moment, police can stop members of the public, search them, use force on them and even kill them. When police abuse that authority, they can cause extraordinary harm.
The ACLU of Southern California has fought for decades against police abuse and for policing that is equitable, transparent and democratic. In the courts, in city halls, in the legislature, the ACLU SoCal has challenged excessive force, racial profiling, broken-windows policing and dragnet surveillance. We have fought for the public's right to know about police, from access to body camera footage and department's determinations about proven misconduct to the policies and safeguards governing surveillance technology.
The ACLU SoCal continues to work to ensure:
- Police must be transparent, accountable and responsive to the communities they serve. ACLU SoCal has worked to ensure the public has access to information about police misconduct and discipline.
- Police must treat all people fairly, regardless or race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability.
- Police must use their authority consistent with the constitution and with community values and should respect the sanctity of all life.
- Police should focus on serious crime and should not address noncriminal issues such as people with mental illness, homelessness, immigration issues. Police should end ineffective "broken windows" policing and stop-and-frisk policies.
- Police must end dragnet surveillance of law abiding Californians.