Mayor Eric Garcetti has ordered Los Angeles police to scale back on vehicle stops in response to an investigation by the Los Angeles Times showing that an elite unit was pulling over a disproportionate number of African Americans.
In a written statement Wednesday, Garcetti said he is “deeply concerned” about The Times’ findings that Metropolitan Division officers stop black drivers at a rate more than five times their share of the population.
Pointing to decreases in homicides and violent crimes last year, Garcetti said that progress in fighting crime needs to come with gains in public trust. He said that reducing vehicle stops, which are perceived by some black residents as racially discriminatory, in favor of other policing techniques will help to build that trust.
“I have directed the Chief of Police to prioritize other elements of our comprehensive crime reduction strategy, beyond vehicle stops, until we learn more — so that we can accelerate the reduction in vehicle stops that has been achieved since they peaked a couple of years ago,” Garcetti said in the statement. “We have made our streets safer with fewer vehicle stops than in recent years, and we have to keep prioritizing what works to both stop crime and strengthen trust.”
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