LOS ANGELES, CA - "Governor Davis and Senator Murray have colluded in creating a truly empty piece of legislation," said Catherine Lhamon, staff attorney for the ACLU of Southern
California. "Racial profiling in traffic stops is a major issue in this state, a real problem for which Californians of color need a real solution."
Governor Davis and Senator Murray today announced that Senator Murray's racial profiling statistics bill, SB 1389, which would have required the state to gather statistics from law enforcement agencies on racial profiling in traffic stops, has been gutted and replaced with a bill that purports to make racial profiling illegal.
The new bill will also require officers to give their business cards to motorists to whom they do not give a ticket. The agreement between the Governor and the Senator, according to the Governor's office, will also include an expansion of current diversity training efforts.
"The new bill is insufficient," said Lhamon. "Gathering statistics will create knowledge and accountability. Police officers handing out business cards doesn't accomplish that."
"The Governor's proposal relies on practices that in themselves have proven insufficient to the task: more diversity training, married to current complaint systems," said Lhamon. "More and
better training is a good idea, but by itself it's not enough. You have to determine that training has an overall effect on the problem'and you can't do that without statistics."
"Every day as Rampart unfolds, we learn more about the nightmares of a system that asks law enforcement agencies to police themselves," said Lhamon. "In that context, asking the people of Los Angeles and California to trust that police will simply stop racial profiling without any real system of oversight or accountability is absurd."