SACRAMENTO – California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory (RIPA) Board released its first annual report on Friday. The report is required by Assembly Bill 953 (AB 953), the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015, and represents the first statewide report in California on racial and identity profiling in law enforcement. The report provides baseline information about existing policies and practices to prevent racial and identity profiling and sets the agenda and vision for the future work of the Board. This year’s report is accompanied by a video that illustrates the purpose of the RIPA Board and highlights the work that has been accomplished to date.
“On behalf of the California Police Chiefs Association, it has been my honor to represent our association alongside the many distinguished members of the RIPA Board. We hope that in the future, through the collection of data, we can identify the true scope of racial and identity profiling and establish an evidence-based approach to increase public trust with the police,” said Chief Edward Medrano, Co-Chair of the RIPA Board and President of the California Police Chiefs Association. “This first report by the RIPA board is the beginning of a journey that will allow Californians to understand the level of racial and identity profiling in policing and assist in the development of community-police partnerships and programs to improve trust in the police.”
“In 2014, the young people of Ferguson, MO awakened the country, afresh, to the deeply-felt pain of communities of color with respect to law enforcement sworn to protect them,” said Reverend Ben McBride, Co-Chair of the RIPA Board and Co-Director of People Improving Communities Through Organizing (PICO) CA. “The chasm of mistrust moved thousands into the street, including across California, to ultimately pass AB 953, in 2015. The work of the RIPA Board has been to deny the false choice of ‘us vs. them’ and find ways to collaboratively protect all Californians, providing them with dignity and respect. As Co-Chair, I invite both the public and law enforcement to lean into the opportunity we have of building trust through reform, making us all safer and more secure, regardless as to whether we’re wearing a hoodie or a uniform.”
“The RIPA Board’s work is critical to ensuring public safety and effective law enforcement-community relations,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “From experiencing a police stop as a young man, to sitting down with family members of individuals who have lost their lives, and working today with our men and women who wear the badge and strive to keep us safe, I can tell you this work is crucial for us to get right. I applaud the RIPA Board on its tremendous efforts to address racial and identity profiling in California. The Board’s commitment is evident in this report. At the California Department of Justice, we are honored to have been a part of this process and to continue to lead efforts on this front.”
The following information is included in this year’s report:
- A summary of the information that law enforcement agencies will collect and report to the California Department of Justice regarding stops.
- This includes information about the stop itself, such as; the reason for stop, actions taken by the officer during the stop, and outcome of the stop. In addition, information will be collected about the person who was stopped, and the officer’s perception of the race, gender, age and LGBT status of that person;
- A history of racial and identity profiling and information on current evidence-based research that will help stakeholders understand the issues;
- Analysis of the data collected regarding citizen/civilian complaints, including complaints alleging racial and identity profiling, that were reported to the DOJ by law enforcement in 2016;
- A summary of the results of a survey the RIPA Board distributed to law enforcement agencies regarding agency policies on racial and identity profiling; and
- Analysis and recommendations about racial and identity profiling trainings provided to officers.
In each section of the report, the RIPA Board offers recommendations for best practices, next steps, and a vision for the Board’s future work and reports.
The RIPA Board was formed as part of the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015, authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), and began its work in July 2016. The California Legislature charged the Board with an ambitious purpose – to eliminate racial and identity profiling, and improve diversity and racial and identity sensitivity in law enforcement. By unifying a diverse group of individuals from across different sectors – law enforcement, civil and human rights organizations, community groups, and academia – in a shared cause, the RIPA Board aims to improve law enforcement-community relations in California through collaboration, transparency, and accountability.
For additional information on the RIPA Board and for the datasets related to the report, please visit https://oag.ca.gov/ab953/board