Law enforcement officers in California will soon be required to collect data on who they tend to stop, how often and why. A public comment period is now open on how the data should be collected and reported.
The proposal comes from California’s Racial and Identity Profiling Act, a law signed last year amid a wave of protests over officer-involved shootings of unarmed black men. The new rules would require officers to log details from “perceived demographic information” to whether the person stopped speaks English.
David Robinson is Sheriff of Kings County, south of Fresno, and sits on a board that helped steer the proposal. He says putting law enforcement stops in context is crucial. For example, does an officer specialize in a certain set of gangs?
If their target group is Hispanic gangs, well that data set is going to show that they’re constantly contacting a Hispanic person, but we want the data also to reflect that hey, that’s because that’s their specialty assignment.
The proposed regulations are up for public comment until late January.