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Police reform advocates on Tuesday demanded the Los Angeles Police Department to stop using a statewide database for identifying and tracking gang members, arguing it has undermined public safety and derailed the lives of innocent people.

The advocates told members of the Los Angeles Police Commission that they are not only concerned with the allegations of overt abuses of the CalGang database by officers, but with the system overall. Even when operating as intended, they said, the database too often places incorrect and life-altering labels on young men of color based on little more than their clothing, their tattoos and the neighborhoods they live in.

“We need to divest in suppression policing, and instead invest in youth development,” said Anthony Robles of the Youth Justice Coalition, who said he experienced police harassment growing up after being misidentified as a gang member.

Melanie Ochoa, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said the database “cannot just be fixed with some tweaks and additional oversight,” because the problems are systemic and officers are misidentifying people routinely.

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