By Mariana Magaña Gamero
Policy & Research Analyst, Reimagine Justice & Safety
In demand for justice and equity, California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory (RIPA) Board released its highly anticipated seventh Annual Report that spotlights systemic racial biases in law enforcement patrol practices throughout California. The RIPA Board was created to eliminate racial and identity profiling. Developed by a panel of experts and community stakeholders, this latest report:
- Analyzes data from more than 4.5 million stops by 535 California law enforcement agencies from January 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022.
- Examines interactions between youth and law enforcement both inside and outside schools.
- Explores the effects police unions have on law enforcement accountability.
- Continues the Board’s examination of pretextual stops.
Below are key findings from the report as well as recommendations and best practices.
The RIPA Board’s report highlights numerous disparities in law enforcement patrol activities that are indicative of racial and identity profiling:
- Black students on school campuses with a police presence were both stopped and handcuffed by law enforcement at higher rates than any other ethnic group.
- LGBT and transgender people had the highest percentage of stops resulting in a sole resisting arrest charge (0.25%, 3 times the statewide average).
- People with a mental health disability had the highest percentage of stops that resulted in a sole resisting arrest charge among perceived or known disability groups.
- Black Californians were stopped 131 percent more frequently than expected, given their relative proportion of the state’s population.
- Once stopped, people of color were searched for contraband at higher rates than their White counterparts. Native Americans had the highest search rate at 22.4 percent compared to just 12.4 percent for White Californians.
- Despite officers choosing to search people of color at higher rates than their White counterparts, they were less likely to find evidence or contraband in their searches compared to White people.
RIPA Board Recommendations
The report also serves as a roadmap for change to dismantle discriminatory policing and foster a more equitable and just society for all Californians. Key recommendations highlighted in the report include:
- Repealing the part of Education Code Section 38000 which authorizes school districts to operate their own police departments.
- Prohibiting law enforcement agencies from creating criminal databases that are not tied to information about arrests or convictions.
- Prioritizing care-first models that reduce interactions between community members and law enforcement and support community-centered responses.
Catalyst California urges community stakeholders, advocates, educators, and elected officials to utilize the data, findings, and recommendations of the RIPA report to rectify deeply-rooted systemic inequities. We must reimagine a system where justice is equitable and where communities of color are not subject to the disproportionate burdens of local and state law enforcement discriminatory practices.
For more resources, see our series of reports on Reimagining Community Safety