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DOJ Deems LAPD Racial Profiling Investigations Inadequate, Warns of Ongoing Bias

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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Photo by NewsSpy via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Photo by NewsSpy via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
Citing evidence that two Los Angeles Police Department officers were caught discussing their use of racial profiling in a recorded conversation, LAPD has received warning from the U.S. Department of Justice that LAPD's own investigations into racial profiling are inadequate and that "some cops still tolerate the practice," according to the LA Times.

The evidence? One voice unknowingly recorded is heard saying that he "couldn't do [his] job without racially profiling." Another says "so, what?" to accusations of profiling based on race. These statements, along with roughly 250 profiling complaints filed during routine traffic and pedestrian stops each year, have raised concerns on both sides.

Police Chief Charlie Beck responded by saying the new accusations are based on old cases, that two officer comments don't speak for all officers, and that the department has made significant strides in changing the difficult LAPD history of racial profiling and excessive force. Justice Department officials believe that LAPD is simply "going through the motions" in their investigations, allowing officers to answer a simple "no" when asked if they pulled someone over as a result of race, rather than digging deeper.

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This latest warning comes as a blow to the LAPD which is in the midst of a campaign to end federal oversight of their internal racial profiling investigations by demonstrating their effectiveness. A report detailing 10 recent racial profiling investigations conducted by a new team of LAPD investigators is due out later this month.

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