Disproportionate Arrest Rates for Black and Latino Populations in L.A. County’s Northeast Cities Revealed in New Report

A recent report by the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations has shed light on the alarming disparities in arrest rates between Black and Latino populations compared to their white and Asian counterparts in three northeast cities of Los Angeles County. The report analyzed arrest data from 2010 to 2020 from the Glendale, Pasadena, and South Pasadena police departments, revealing significant discrepancies in law enforcement practices.

While the Los Angeles Police Department often faces scrutiny, smaller suburban police departments have received less attention. The report highlights the lack of public information on police conduct and arrests in these smaller cities and suburban areas as its primary motivation. Jorgen Harris, an assistant professor of economics at Occidental College and co-author of the report, emphasized the importance of monitoring policing in suburban areas, as more people are killed by suburban police officers than their urban counterparts. However, due to limited resources and less scrutiny, these departments often operate with less transparency.

The study found that Black and Latino populations were disproportionately subjected to arrest in all three cities, as well as in the city of Los Angeles. South Pasadena, in particular, exhibited a stark disparity, with Latinos accounting for over 50% of arrests despite comprising less than 20% of the population. The South Pasadena Police Department’s failure to identify Latino individuals in arrest records raised concerns about the accuracy of the data and the need for comprehensive measurement.

In addition to the racial disparities, the report revealed that Black individuals faced higher cash bail amounts compared to other racial and ethnic groups. While the Pasadena Police Department showed similar bail percentages across groups, the median bail for Black individuals was significantly higher than for Asians, whites, and Latinos. The report acknowledged that these differences could be influenced by criminal history or case-specific circumstances but also raised the possibility of implicit or explicit racial bias in bail decisions.

The Glendale and Pasadena police departments responded to the report, highlighting the significant number of nonresident arrests and the need to consider regional dynamics when interpreting arrest statistics. They emphasized that a large percentage of those arrested were transitory individuals from neighboring communities within Los Angeles County.

Helen Tran, representing Care First South Pasadena, expressed frustration with the lack of meaningful response from the South Pasadena Police Department when presented with similar data in 2022. Tran urged the city to take action based on the data rather than merely acknowledging its existence.

CrimeDoor
Author: CrimeDoor

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