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Criminal Justice

USC Advisory Board Finds Campus Police Disproportionately Stop Black People

An image of a fountain at USC with some people sitting around it.
An advisory board formed last school year found that campus police disproportionately stop Black people on campus.
(Michael Locke
/
LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr )
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The advisory board that's been reevaluating the USC campus police department for the past year has come up with a report. Among its findings: campus police officers stopped Black people during 2019 and 2020 at higher numbers than any other racial group.

USC professor Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro co-chairs the advisory board.

"Especially around the Health Sciences Campus on the east side of Los Angeles, there are not enough Black people for it to be a Black person getting stopped once. So there's a high chance that people are getting stopped multiple times during their time either working or studying at USC," said Hancock Alfaro.

Advisory board co-chair Errol Southers says another concern is that because campus police are the only 24/7 agency on campus, they often get calls that don't require an armed response.

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"Seventy percent of the radio calls that go to the officers at DPS are for an open or closed door or gate. So does that really require a public safety officer to respond?" Southers said.

The report recommends a new vision for public safety at USC, and it also says calls about mental health or homelessness should go to another USC campus office.

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