Study: LA police stop more blacks than whites

October 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
A report released today by a civil liberties group says Los Angeles police officers are more likely to stop and search black and Hispanic residents than they are whites, even though whites are more often found carrying guns and contraband. The report's author is Yale Law School economist Ian Ayres. He says, "The results of this study raise grave concerns that African-Americans and Hispanics are over-stopped, over-frisked, over-searched, and over-arrested."

Ayres' report was published by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. It analyzes the Los Angeles Police Department's own numbers for pedestrian and motor vehicle stops in the year July 2003 to June 2004.

Even after researchers controlled for demographics and neighborhood crime rates, they found significantly higher stop rates for black and Latino residents. For every 10,000 residents, blacks were nearly three times more likely to be stopped than white and other "non-minority" residents, facing 3,400 more stops. Hispanics were stopped on 350 more occasions.

The LAPD acknowledges racial disparities but, after controlling for a several variables, found "no consistent pattern of race effects."



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