California Police Officers to Start Gathering Data on the Race of Those They Stop

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File photo of an LAPD patrol car. (Credit: Chris Yarzab/flickr via Creative Commons)

Police officers in California will soon track the race of those they pull over for traffic stops or encounter in the street, according to proposed guidelines released Friday by Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.

The new rules, established by the passage of Assembly Bill 953 in 2015, are designed to help understand biases in policing efforts across the state.

“Racial and identity profiling weaken public trust and have debilitating effects on communities,” Harris said in a statement. “These regulations and data will help law enforcement improve policing practices and strengthen accountability.”

Aside from demographic information on race, gender and age of the person stopped, officers will have to record and collect the location, duration and reason for each stop under the proposed regulations. Officers also will be required to document the actions they take and the result of the encounter. The attorney general’s office will make the data public by each law enforcement agency through its criminal justice data website, OpenJustice.

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