Does the LAPD have a racial profiling problem?
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.
"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.
Photo: Recent LAPD academy graduation. Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times