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Does the LAPD have a racial profiling problem?

The latest graduates of the Los Angeles Police Academy wear black bands over their badges in honor of Marine Corps Reserve Sgt. Maj. Robert J. Cottle, the Los Angeles Police Department's first officer to be killed in combat in Afghanistan. Cottle, a SWAT officer, died Wednesday.

A conversation between two Los Angeles Police Department officers who were unknowingly recorded is at the heart of the U.S. Justice Department's warning to the LAPD that it needs to do a better job investigating allegations of racial profiling.

TalkbackIn a conversation with a supervisor, the officers seem to be dismissive of racial profiling complaints.

"So what?" one said, when told that other officers had been accused of stopping a motorist because of his race. The second officer is heard twice saying that he "couldn't do [his] job without racially profiling."

The officers' comments, Justice officials found, spoke to a "perception and attitude of some LAPD officers on the street" and suggested "a culture that is inimical to race-neutral policing."

Read more about the conversation and the Justice Department's concerns in this story by The Times' Joel Rubin. Rubin said this "marks a setback for the LAPD, which remains under federal oversight on the issue. In order to rid itself of the federal scrutiny — which police officials have increasingly come to resent — the LAPD must assuage the Justice Department's concerns."

Does the LAPD need to do more to fight racial profiling? Tell us what you think.


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Photo: Recent LAPD academy graduation. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (18)

Well if they do, it's their hiring process...The LAPD officers are primarily Hispanic...

The LAPD should focus on crime fighting, not appeasing liberals.

To: TheBigPicture

Hispanics and other minorities are the ones being profiled, "LAPD officers are primarily Hispanic" has really nothing to do with it.

I've heard they profile by gender and age also! -- one cop had the affrontery to suggest to me that young males commit more crimes than say, older females....I reported this culturally insensitive, age-ist, sexist boob to his superiors. He was quickly fired for generalizing about and stigmatizing young males.

A reader posted last week that if you listen to the police radio frequency the vast majority of what you hear is male Black and male Hispanic suspects. Over the weekend I turned on my scanner and listened to several hours of radio traffic on LAPD channels. WOW! It literally was over 90 percent of reports of suspects that were male Black or Hispanics, and this was as reported via 911 calls made by citizens.

Either the citizens are racially profiling or maybe, just maybe the vast majority of criminal activity is being commited by that demographic. IF that is the case then the cops better be concentrating on said group.

Enough of the the politically correct mumbo jumbo, how about just doing what is right.

if the majority of suspects and criminals are hispanic and black males, its not profiling to target those groups. You dont see many asians and whites roaming the streets committing crimes.


To: Una Hispana..."Hispanics and other minorities are the ones being profiled..."

Hispanics can no longer use the minority Trump Card, they are the majority population in the City of Los Angeles and the LAPD...

After reviewing the FBI criminal stats, Hispanics and Blacks commit the vast majority of serious crimes in Los Angeles...

So what race is the LAPD allowed to stop? Seems to me anyone who is stopped could make this allegation.

maybe the LAPD should just go back to the old "Drive and wave" days, no what, someone will get upset because they said hello to the wrong race!

If you had to do an article to get an answer to this question, then you probably just got your head out from a rock or what planet did you just landed from? Really!

If you work anything inside the 10, 91, 405 and 710, who you end up pulling over are mainly going to be blacks and hispanics. It makes sense, since mostly blacks and hispanics live in these areas. And, historically, they do commit a disproportionate amont of crime. Groupsd that put a low value on education end up at the bottom of the economic ladder and have higher crime rates. This holds true the world round. Just the facts. Stubborn things, aren't they.

Of course they do?

As a taxpayer and a resident of the city of Los Angeles, I fully support racial profiling by the police. The day Latinos stop gangbanging, Muslims stop bombing airplanes, and blacks stop shooting each other over basketball shoes is the day I'll support "race-neutral policing."

The officers of the LAPD are not responsible for the tens of thousands of undocumented aliens that live in California. Why should they be blamed for doing their job...which is to stop anyone who is breaking or bending the law. How many traffic violators do you think they stop over the course of a year? Millions. Including whites. The LAPD is responsible for the saftey of thousands of people in their area. Most of them are honorable officers and they DO police their own! Just exactly WHO is pushing to suggest that they don't?

Cencoast should focus on the point of the article, not being angry at liberals. And in case it never occurred to you, eliminating racial profiling IS focusing on crime fighting. If cops spend more time dealing with actual crime instead of harassing minority and counter-culture youths at random, there WILL be less crime. It's mind-boggling that no one ever mentions this. Of course, the discussion tends to be dominated by people who are from privileged backgrounds and are not minorities and therefore have no need to fear the injustices of racial, or any other kind of profiling. Go make friends with a black person for once in your life. No one should really have to explain this to you.

there is no such thing as "racial profiling" ... there is only "selective targeting".

Does the LAPD have a racial profiling problem? YES, YES, YES.
It's clear if you are a person of color . Do we have opportunities ? YES . Has America solved its racial problems? NO ! I am still an American, I just understand that the playing field is still not level.

The information the police are getting on suspects comes from witnesses and crime victims. Instead of crying about racial profiling, try disciplining your kids whether they are white, black, hispanic, asian and realize that the reason mostly hispanic and black youths are on the radio is because of their environment. There are PLENTY of white kids on the radios, too. Sick of the crying.

Im a man of color growing up in the area of 48th Street and Central Avenue in South Central LA. Does LAPD have a racial problem NO, the only ones that do are the bleeding heart librals and people of color who live in these areas and become upset and angry because they get stopped by the police. To them its HOW DARE THEY STOP ME attitude. Ive seen the police stop folks and have heard the verbal abuse they have to take because they made a car stop for some traffic violation. The police are better off if they just stayed at their station, make no car stops or stop the people on the streets and see what else all you bleeding heart liberals and people with the HOW DARE YOU ATTITUDE will have to complain about then, or maybe you can do a better job.


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