A recent letter from the United States Justice Department to the LAPD warned the city against tolerating or not doing enough to thoroughly investigate claims of racial profiling by their officers. According to the LA Times, the warning comes after years of federal oversight and recommendations to end biased policing in the city. In other words, it’s nothing new.
The issue is racial profiling, or the police’s practice of targeting someone solely on the basis of their skin color or religious garb. The Justice Department states that the LAPD isn’t doing enough to seriously investigate claims of profiling.
The Times report states that despite numerous complaints of profiling every year, not a single officer has been found guilty by investigators of profiling. The department states it’s difficult to prove profiling because without a confession from the officer there’s no way to tell what motivated them in a stop or arrest.
Critics think otherwise and state actions of profiling are sometimes very obvious and no confession should be necessary. Simply ask some members of the minority communities if they’ve ever been profiled and you’ll get an idea of just how common it is.
The Justice Department pointed to a recording of two officers in their letter. The two officers were discussing profiling with a supervisor and admitted they didn’t feel they could adequately do their job without it.
The Justice Department stated this single recording when measured with all of the other information about profiling within the LAPD is evidence of a “culture that is inimical to race-neutral policing.”
Profiling is one issue that the feds still monitor the LAPD on after being released from a consent decree in 2009. When the decree was lifted a federal District Court judge mandated the Justice Department remain in an oversight role in regards to profiling.
Knowing you have been the victim of racial profiling and proving it are two very different things and unfortunately, when you are up against criminal charges, the courts aren’t too sensitive to issues like this.
When you are up against drug charges or other criminal charges it’s normal to feel like everyone, from the cop to the judge, are against you. It’s at this time that you need an advocate in your corner. A criminal defense attorney is that advocate.
If you are facing criminal charges in the California courts, contact our offices today for a free case evaluation on any criminal offense.