A new report says sheriffs’ patrols spend more time conducting racially biased stops than they do responding to calls for help

By Sam Levin, The Guardian

Black drivers in California’s capital are nearly five times more likely than white motorists to get pulled over by sheriffs for traffic violations, according to a new report on racial profiling across the state.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva

Records from the county sheriff’s departments of Los Angeles, San Diego, Sacramento and Riverside show that Black Californians were disproportionately stopped across those regions in 2019, especially for minor infractions.

The state data, which was obtained by advocacy groups Catalyst California and the ACLU of Southern California through a state law to track racial profiling and released on Tuesday, also suggest that sheriff patrols spend significantly more time conducting these proactive stops than they do responding to calls for help.

The racial disparities appeared most severe in Sacramento, the state capital, where sheriff’s deputies pulled over Black drivers at a rate 4.7 times more than they stopped white drivers. In overall stops, which include pedestrians, Black residents were stopped at 4.1 times the rate of white people.

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