The Los Angeles Police Department has announced that of 1,356 allegations of biased policing against them by civilians, zero of those allegations were valid. Sure, sure, sure, sure.
The claims of biased policing—a euphemism for racial profiling—were submitted to the LAPD from 2012 to 2014, according to the LA Times, and not even the president of the Police Commission can support the idea that an investigation would turn up no instances of wrongdoing whatsoever.
“We need to take a look at it,” said the panel’s president, Matt Johnson. “I don’t think anybody believes that there are actually no incidents of biased policing, the problem is we don’t have an effective way of really adjudicating the issue.”
Police commissioner Robert Salztman called the decision “troubling and disappointing,” and admitted that that strange official conclusions like these are why few in the city trust the LAPD. After all, this is the department that housed this officer, the officers involved in the Rampart scandal and, most famously, the five white officers who beat Rodney King in 1991, kicking off the fiery L.A. riots the following year. To say that the department has no bias is impossible.
“Such accusations are difficult to prove,” writes the LA Times, “as they hinge on what an officer is thinking when he or she stops someone.” Someone’s thoughts are tough to prove without numbers to show a “pattern of behavior,” says Phillip Atiba Goff, president and cofounder of the Center for Policing Equity at UCLA.
Well, surely those numbers exist too.
The LAPD told the LA Times in several different ways that it’d like to improve its relationship with the community it serves. The commissioners are looking forward to a new rollout of body cameras to help their investigation of biased policing. It remains to be seen whether this is all chatter or lead-up to a real change.
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