Press Release: 2023 California RIPA Report Shows Continued Disparate Treatment Of LGBTQ+ Citizens
February 6, 2023 (Santa Rosa, CA)
The 2023 California Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board’s 2023 Annual Report is the 6th look at “a wide range of issues related to racial and identity profiling in policing and how to eliminate this unlawful practice. Over the past four years, the data collected under the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (“RIPA”) has provided empirical evidence showing disparities in policing throughout California. This year’s data demonstrates the same trends in disparities for all aspects of law enforcement stops, from the reason for stop to actions taken during stop to results of stop.”
The 222 page report includes specific details about 3.1 million stops made in calendar year 2021 by 58 different law enforcement agencies in California (including the 23 largest agencies) and how law enforcement in reported its interactions with those perceived to be LGBTQ+. The following are related excerpts from this year’s report.
- Stopped individuals whom officers perceived to be LGBT had a higher proportion (13.9%) of their stops reported as being in response to a call for service than individuals whom the officers did not perceive to be LGBT (6.0%).
- Individuals perceived to be LGBT had a lower proportion of their stops reported as traffic violations (72.4%) and a higher proportion of their stops reported as reasonable suspicion and in the categories grouped together as “other” (22.7%, 4.8%) than individuals who officers did not perceive to be LGBT (86.9% traffic violations, 10.4% reasonable suspicion and 2.7% other reasons).
- Stopped individuals whom officers perceived to be LGBT had a higher proportion of their stops involving the officers taking actions towards them (32.0%) than individuals officers did not perceive to be LGBT (19.8%).
- Stopped individuals whom officers perceived to be LGBT were searched (19.3%), detained on the curb or in a patrol car (18.8%), handcuffed (18.2%), and removed from a vehicle by order (5.5%) at a higher rate than individuals officers did not perceive to be LGBT (11.8% searched, 11.2% detained on the curb or in a patrol car, 9.7% handcuffed, and 4.3% removed from a vehicle by order).
- Officers took no action as the result of stop during a higher proportion of stops of people they perceived to be LGBT (9.7%) than during stops of people they did not perceive to be LGBT (7.6%). Individuals whom officers perceived to be LGBT had a lower rate of being cited (38.5%) or warned (23.2%) while having a higher rate of being arrested (23.1%) than individuals whom officers did not perceive to be LGBT (52.1% cited, 26.3% warned, and 12.7% arrested).
A major theme in this year’s report is one of “accountability.” California Penal Code sections 13519.4 and 13519.41 require training on racial profiling and LGBT community awareness. This year’s RIPA report criticized the content and quality of racial profiling training, but didn’t even mention the LGBT awareness training requirement. We believe this may be because so many agencies in California have yet to comply with the requirement to provide LGBT awareness training for all peace officers and dispatchers. This mandate has been in place since January of 2019. The California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training added this training to basic law enforcement academy instruction in October of 2020, but has yet to add it to the basic dispatcher academy. The work on adding this content to the course is in progress.
We agree with the position stated in the report that before more training mandates are created, California law enforcement needs to be sure the existing ones are current, of high quality, and that they are being met by every law enforcement agency and academy. The report recommended training objectives include discussion of “the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity and how they intersect with each other, race, culture, and religion.” It also recommended “the training discusses the need for officers to have knowledge of terms related to sexual orientation and gender identity.” Both of these topics are existing requirements detailed in the training required by California Penal Code section 13519.41 and ones we agree are essential.
This year’s RIPA report calls for more involvement by subject matter experts and citizens on the California POST Commission as well as on the committees charged with updating racial profiling training curriculum.
- “The Board recommends that the Legislature expand the POST Commission by five people to add more diverse representation from the public and non-sworn community.”
- “Engage non-traditional experts outside of POST – such as the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Officers, the Fair and Impartial Policing Institute, or the Center for Policing Equity – to evaluate and/or develop profiling and bias training. POST’s consultant employees play an important role in POST training course development and are expected to have prior law enforcement experience. This requirement should be expanded to also consider individuals knowledgeable in the subject matter but who do not have a law enforcement background. “
The above two recommendations may be among the most important and effective in changing law enforcement culture and reducing the on-going influence of the “good ole-boy” network.
Out to Protect remains engaged and committed to helping law enforcement become more effective and comfortable serving the LGBTQ+ community. We will continue to offer our services and expertise to California POST and any agency in the United States who wants our help.
Source: 2023 Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board Report, January 1, 2023.
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