FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ATTENTION NEWS EDITOR
Coalition Demands Action to End Racial Profiling by Berkeley Police Updated data confirms continued race-based disparities
(BERKELEY, California) On Tuesday June 27, 2017 at 6:00pm, a coalition of civil rights groups will hold a press conference at on the steps of Old City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way to demand:
(1) The immediate release of the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) report on Berkeley’s “stop data” commissioned by the City of Berkeley and the Berkeley Police, and
2) That the City of Berkeley commit to a specific program to address the problem of racial profiling by the Berkeley Police Department.
At its 7:00pm meeting, the City Council is scheduled to consider agenda item 52, “Release the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) Report on Fair and Impartial Policing in Berkeley” to compel the Chief of Police to publicly share the findings of this study. Community organizations are further demanding that the Chief take concrete steps to end the practice of racial profiling by police.
After a press conference by community groups brought racial disparities into the public eye in October of 2015, then-Chief Michael Meehan responded by enlisting the help of the Center for Policing Equity (CPE) in analyzing the information. Now, two years later, the CPE has completed its report. However, on June 14, current BPD chief Andrew Greenwood told the Police Review Commission that he is delaying release of the information because he wants the CPE to make “modifications” to it. Local groups allege that the department’s failure to release the CPE report is simply another way to delay addressing racism within the department.
While the Berkeley Police Department has continued to stonewall both the interpretation and release of this data by a company it retained for this purpose, the independent company “Police Strategies” has also analyzed the data collected by the BPD. Their analysis of the most current data on police stops in Berkeley from February 2015 to December 2016 (24,800 civilian encounters), continues to show a pattern of discriminatory conduct against Black and Latino civilians. According to the analysis by “Police Strategies”, the data shows:
While Black people are less than 8% of the total population, 33% of all people stopped by Berkeley police are Black. This number is up from 30.5% in 2015.
Most Black people stopped by police (68.9%) and most Latinos (62.1%) were released without any charges, while only 52.4% of White civilians were released without charges. (This indicates that many more people of color are being stopped without basis.)
24.3% of the Black people who were stopped were subjected to a search, far more than Whites, who were searched 10.2 % of the time—a racial disparity of more than two to one.
The data confirms that Black people are STILL being stopped over six times more often than White people, per capita. The data also demonstrates that when White people are stopped, it is far more often for a legitimate reason, whereas African Americans and Latinos are very often stopped for no reason, 30% more often for Black people as for White people. Both Black people and Latinos who are stopped are searched at a shockingly high rate as compared to White people.
This analysis confirms that racial profiling is ongoing in Berkeley and that the City has utterly failed to remedy this critical problem. The City of Berkeley’s attempt to hide the report that it commissioned cannot hide the fact of racial profiling from the hundreds of people of color in Berkeley who are subject to it every single day they live, work in or visit Berkeley.
Anti Police-Terror Project (APTP)
National Lawyers Guild- San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Arab Resource and Organizing Center (AROC)
Stop Urban Shield Coalition (SUS)
Code Pink East Bay
Confirmed Speakers Include:
MC/Moderator/Anti Police-Terror Project: Nanci Armstrong-Temple
Peyton Provenzano, CopWatch
NLG-SF, Cat Brooks
The Way Church
Arab Resource and Organizing Center
Stop Urban Shield Coalition
Lew Williams, Berkeley Resident