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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

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Lawmakers consider changes to Maine's Clean Election law, Florida offers a big no comment over "arranged" migrant flights to California, and the Global Fragility Act turns U.S. peacekeeping on its head.

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A bipartisan effort aims to preserve AM radio, the Human Rights Campaign declares a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people, and the Atlanta City Council approves funding for a controversial police training center.

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Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

Data on CA Police Stops Confirms Continuing Racial Disparities

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Thursday, January 5, 2023   

Black teenagers ages 15 to 17 are six times more likely to be searched by police compared with their white counterparts, according to a report from the California Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board released this week.

The board crunched the numbers from more than 3 million traffic and pedestrian stops done in 2021 by 58 police agencies.

Melanie Ochoa, outgoing vice chair of the board and the director of police practices for the ACLU of Southern California, said about 94% of police stops were self-initiated, not in response to a call for service. And 87% of those are traffic stops.

"It's a low-hanging fruit," Ochoa contended. "It's easy to find someone who is potentially committing a traffic violation, when it's actually intended to do more basic searches without any evidence of other criminal activity being present at the time."

The data showed Black people were stopped at more than twice their percentage in the population, and Latinx people at 7% more, whereas white people were stopped at 4% less than their population level. The report recommended police agencies cease making what are called "pre-textual" stops, where there is no reasonable suspicion or probable cause of criminal activity.

Ochoa added research shows contact with law enforcement can be traumatic.

"Interacting with officers correlates with higher distress, anxiety, trauma, depression, increased risk of suicidal ideation, paranoia, post-traumatic stress and trauma-induced sleep deprivation, particularly for youth," Ochoa explained.

The Los Angeles Police Department revised its policies last year to reduce the number of pretextual stops. The report also recommended police agencies move to ban so-called consent searches, and instead limit searches to cases where there is probable cause.


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