A white police officer has been targeting Latino drivers for traffic stops because of their race, a Los Angeles Police Department investigation concluded — marking the first time the agency has found one of its officers guilty of racial profiling.
I’m so glad they found the guy who’s been doing this.
^ This comment. Hah! ^
Here’s some more info from today’s story:
- The officer, identified as 15-year veteran Patrick Smith, 55, was relieved of duty but has not been fired. In L.A., the police chief cannot fire an officer unilaterally. A three-person board will hear the case and decide if firing is warranted.
- 250 formal allegations of racial profiling are brought against LAPD officers every year. Because cases hinge on what officers are thinking in the moment they make a stop, these allegations are very difficult to prove.
- That explanation wore increasingly thin on members of the Police Commission, who put more pressure on the LAPD to overhaul its investigation of racial profiling cases.
So what was the key evidence on Patrick Smith? According to sources, he is accused of deliberately misidentifying some Latinos as being white on his reports — presumably in an effort to conceal their ethnicity.
There are more details on LAPD racial profiling studies and the Department of Justice’s involvement following the Rampart scandal over at the story.
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