LOS ANGELES, CA - City Council Members were asked to vote today in support of the newly gutted racial profiling bill, but raised questions about the bill's efficacy and its lack of a data collection mandate. The Council referred the motion to committee.
"There's obviously been a lot of behind the scenes commotion to try to generate some last-minute support for this mistaken approach," said Ramona Ripston, Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California, "but the City Council didn't bite. They saw that this new bill is a cynical ploy instead of substantive action. Business cards, diversity training, and current complaint lines are not in themselves enough'that's what the LAPD does now, and it hasn't worked. We need sound, statewide, standardized data so we can identify the worst problem spots and monitor them on an ongoing basis. That creates a regular system of accountability - these are the systems we so desperately need here in Los Angeles, and which Parks and his LAPD refuse to give us."
The Bill, SB 1389, formerly contained a data collection mandate. The current version simply restates an established fact of law - that racial profiling is illegal, and requires law enforcement agencies to institute a system similar to the one put in place by the LAPD.
"Why is the most corrupt and out-of-control police department in the state calling the plays on one of the most pressing civil rights and police practices issues of our day?" asked Ripston. "The LAPD should be held up as a model of how not to institute meaningful civilian complaint procedures - not as the blueprint for our entire state."
Four of the five largest law enforcement agencies in the state have agreed to collect data, leaving LAPD out of step with its counterparts.