A state audit had been conducted of 5 relatively large police departments, involving two in the Central Valley, the PD’s of Stockton and San Jose, with the rest being San Bernardino PD, CDCR and even the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. In summary, the report “found evidence of officer bias against women, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people, as well as woefully inadequate department policies and procedures to stop discrimination or investigate incidents once they come to light.” (Quoted from this NPR article)
I was quite perturbed reading what I could of the very long and detailed audit. The audit reveals that the Departments’ Investigations of potentially biased conduct was severely flawed, as they focused only on: blatant bias, relied on officers’ explanations, did not consider how conduct reasonably appeared, and prematurely dismissed complaints. It’s worth remembering that this audit’s scope is pretty small, at only 5 departments. What flaws remain in the dark in the hundreds of other departments within California? And much more darkly, what of the rest of the country, especially in Republican run states?
The image above shows some of the actual posts from the social media accounts of the investigated law enforcement officers. There are some cases (image) where an officer’s biased conduct was punished, but they are but just a few. At the end of the day, the 5 departments in question have lackluster screening of biases when hiring officers, not properly fostering diversity, and not doing anything about it (yet). Hopefully this report will urge all police departments, if not the proper legislative bodies, to reform.