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State Board Reviews Data On Police Use Of Force, Citizen Complaints In Upcoming Report

A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.

Photo by Susan Murphy

Above: A San Diego police car parked in downtown San Diego, Oct. 24, 2018.

Civil rights advocates are awaiting a 2020 state board's review on the racial and ethnic makeup of people stopped by California law enforcement officers, but in the meantime, the advisory body is releasing an annual report that examines other data on police conduct.

The Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board's 2019 final report expected this week looks at use of force incidents and civilian complaints at hundreds of California agencies, according to a draft version. It also identifies anti-profiling policies and trainings departments should adopt and details how the state may analyze data California's largest police agencies are collecting about individuals they encounter.

The annual report and data collection are required under the Racial and Identity Profiling Act, which aims to combat profiling by police. The 2015 law mandates officers log what they think is the race/ethnicity, gender and other details about people they stop and submit the data to the state for analysis. The board will then review the findings and make policy recommendations.

RELATED: What The Racial And Identity Profiling Act Can Teach Everyone About Bias

Christie Hill, deputy director of advocacy for the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, said the organization is anticipating the board's stop data review. She has told KPBS that residents complain profiling is a frequent occurrence.

"We hear it from community members all the time about how they have experienced racial profiling," she said.

The legislation by Assemblywoman Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, also requires the advisory board to issue annual reports to help address biased policing even before it receives that stop data.

Eight law enforcement agencies that have at least 1,000 officers on staff, including the San Diego police and sheriff's departments, began collecting racial and identity data this past July. They must share that information with the state by April.

RELATED: What SDPD Is Doing With All That Identity Data It Must Collect Under New Mandate

The San Diego Police Department plans to release the data ahead of that deadline on the city's website but doesn't have a launch date. It is currently providing the information in response to a public records request.

A San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokesperson told KPBS in an email the agency does not intend to publish its data ahead of the April due date, but it will also provide data under a records request, although for a fee.

Both the police and sheriff's departments plan to conduct a local analysis of the data required by the state but neither have an estimated publication date.

The Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board will in 2020 analyze data on the race and identity of people that are stopped by police, but its 2019 annual report also aims to help address biased policing in California.

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