Law Enforcement

Attorney General Becerra Announces Charges Against Adriana Pinnisi in $1 Million Corporate Credit Card Embezzlement Case

August 31, 2017
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today announced charges against Adriana Pinnisi for grand theft and identity theft in a case of embezzlement from her employer. Pinnisi pled not guilty when she was arraigned on August 28.

Pinnisi was arrested on August 17 following an investigation by the California Department of Justice’s eCrime Unit, which found that she allegedly used an American Express corporate credit card from her employer, Signal Products, to make unauthorized purchases for her personal use. Over a 12 month periood – December 3, 2015 to November 12, 2016 – Pinnisi allegedly stole more than $1,015,350.88.

“Computer-related fraud threatens both businesses and consumers,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Unauthorized purchasing with a corporate credit card is stealing and is something no business owner should have to worry about.”

Pinnisi abused her position as Controller at Signal Products, where she would monitor, approve, and record business-related expenses. After discovering that Pinnisi had stolen from the company, Signal Products also discovered that the records and receipts of her expenses were missing.

The California Department of Justice filed a felony complaint in the LA Superior Court charging the defendant with the following three counts:

  • Theft by False Pretenses;
  • Grand Theft;
  • Identity Theft, along with Special Allegations for Excessive Loss.

An arrest warrant was signed on May 11, 2017, and bail was set at $245,000. Pinnisi was residing in New York at the time, where she was seeking employment as a controller. The LAPD coordinated with the NYPD for her arrest.

It is important to note that a criminal complaint contains charges that are only allegations against a person. Every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

A copy of the complaint is attached to the electronic version of this release at oag.ca.gov.

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Expresses Condolences Over Death of Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace

November 13, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

MODESTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris issued the following statement on the death of Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace, who died in the line of duty today:

"On behalf of the California Department of Justice, I extend my deepest condolences to the loved ones and colleagues of Stanislaus County Sheriff's Deputy Dennis Wallace, who bravely gave his life in the line of duty today. This tragedy is yet another solemn reminder of the sacrifice men and women in law enforcement make each and every day when they put on the uniform and badge, not knowing if they'll come home to their families at the end of their shift. Sheriff's Deputy Wallace's ultimate sacrifice in service of his community will never be forgotten by a grateful state and her people."

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Expands Implicit Bias and Procedural Justice Training to the California Highway Patrol

October 6, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that her office’s first-of-its-kind “Principled Policing: Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias” Train the Trainer course, designed to help law enforcement officers overcome barriers to neutral policing and rebuild the relationship of trust between law enforcement and the community, will be offered in Sacramento to California Highway Patrol (CHP) personnel on October 11 and 12.

“Every human being has implicit biases,” said Attorney General Harris. “We need to have an honest conversation that includes addressing the way implicit bias in policing undermines the public’s trust and has devastating effects on the safety and well-being of our communities. Through our principled policing course, we are bringing together law enforcement, community organizations, and leaders in academia to address bias, build trust and improve public safety.”

“For the CHP, public trust has been a cornerstone of our training since 1929.  As a statewide organization with jurisdiction in diverse communities across California, we look at every encounter we have with a member of the public as an opportunity to foster the public’s trust,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  “We appreciate Attorney General Harris’ initiative to develop this training to enhance the public’s trust in us and to provide effective and impartial public safety services to the people of California and its visitors.”     

The training course is certified by California’s Peace Officers Standards Training (POST) Commission and was created last year in partnership with renowned social psychologist and Macarthur Genius, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt of Stanford University.  It has previously been offered in both Los Angeles and Sacramento to command staff from 28 law enforcement agencies from across California. In response to the overwhelming demand following the November 2015 course for law enforcement command staff, last month, Attorney General Harris’ office led the first “train the trainer” version of the course for officers from 15 different California agencies, as well as community members from across the state.

“POST will infuse the tenets of Procedural Justice, Police Legitimacy and Implicit Bias throughout the entirety of the Regular Basic Course (Academy) and Field Training Program.  By weaving these concepts throughout the entry level peace officer training programs by means of a comprehensive service delivery model, POST hopes to enhance student learning outcomes, and reinforce the public service commitment that will serve as a catalyst for mutual trust and confidence between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve,” said POST Executive Director Manny Alvarez.

The “train the trainer” version of the course was developed by the Attorney General's office in partnership with the Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training, Stanford SPARQ (Social Psychological Answers to Real-world Questions), and the Oakland and Stockton Police Departments. The two-day (16-hour) course provides a “how-to” on teaching policing approaches that emphasize respect, listening, neutrality, and trust while also addressing the common implicit biases that can be barriers to these approaches.  The “train the trainer” curriculum was designed to enable officers from law enforcement agencies to gain the knowledge and skills to effectively teach the concepts of procedural justice and implicit bias to others within their departments and to tailor the training to their specific needs and community history.

The 2017 budget, signed by Governor Jerry Brown, allocates $5 million for POST to develop and offer the principled policing course in collaboration with the Attorney General’s office.  This funding will defray the cost for participating agencies, making it possible for many more officers throughout the state to be trained in procedural justice and implicit bias and fund opportunities for evaluation of the course.

As part of the course, all participants must complete a pre- and post-course survey, which Stanford University will compile and analyze in order to assess the effectiveness of the course. The evaluations of the first course showed that the training advanced police officers’ knowledge of procedural justice and implicit bias and the leaders who participated said they believed the training could help increase trust and decrease tension among police and members of the community.

The training is divided into five modules, recognizing the tenets of procedural justice: voice, neutrality, respect, and trustworthiness. Throughout the training participants learned by reviewing research findings, watching video clips and PowerPoint presentations illustrating key points, hearing from officers who shared personal experiences with community members, participating in group exercises, and engaging in frank and honest dialogue. The training also included discussions about the goals and motivations of police officers, the sources of stress and cynicism in policing, the historical and generational effects of policing, and finally, strategies for simultaneously enhancing police-community trust and improving the health and safety of police officers.

The training was first developed as part of the California Department of Justice’s 90-Day Review of its own special agent training programs on implicit bias and use of force which were announced in April 2015.

Since early last year, Attorney General Harris has taken several steps to strengthen the trust between law enforcement and California communities. These actions include:

  • Convening and appointing members to the first-ever Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board to help address the issue of profiling by law enforcement.
  • Directing the Department of Justice’s Division of Law Enforcement to conduct a 90-Day Review of its special agent trainings on implicit bias and use of force.
  • Instituting a body camera policy for all DOJ special agent personnel conducting field operations.
  • Convening law enforcement, youth and community organizations to focus on trust and transparency.
  • Creating the 21st Century Policing Working Group to foster discussion regarding implicit bias and building community trust.
  • Launching OpenJustice, a first-of-its-kind criminal justice open data initiative that publishes unprecedented data in an interactive, easy to use way.  The tool spotlights key criminal justice indicators and embraces transparency in the criminal justice system to strengthen trust, enhance government accountability, and inform public policy.
  • Releasing OpenJustice 1.1, which enriched the Web portal’s initial data sets with city, county, and state level context including population and demographic information, unemployment rates, poverty rates, and educational attainment levels.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Launches New All-Digital Tool to Collect Data on Law Enforcement and Civilian Uses of Force

September 21, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO -- Following last year’s launch of an unprecedented criminal justice open data initiative, OpenJustice, and the passage of Assembly Bill 71, Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today launched a web-based tool that allows California law enforcement agencies to digitally report law enforcement or civilian uses of force. As part of the Attorney General’s commitment to promoting government adoption of technology, this tool was built as an open-source project and the software code will be made available free of charge to other law enforcement agencies around the country. A public demo of the tool is available at ursusdemo.doj.ca.gov.     

Previously, law enforcement officers in California reported on any death in custody on paper forms. No state in the country, including California, collected data on any non-lethal use of force.  Assembly Bill 71, authored by Freddie Rodriguez (D-Pomona), and supported by Attorney General Harris, created a new requirement for California law enforcement agencies to annually report to the California Department of Justice data on any incidents that occurred in the previous year involving use of force by a civilian or peace officer against the other that involves a firearm or results in serious bodily injury or death.

The online platform, nicknamed URSUS after the bear on the California flag, can be accessed by any law enforcement agency in the state to report use of force data in an all-digital format, rather than by using a lengthy paper form. Today’s launch is a beta release to the field in advance of the January 1, 2017 reporting deadline for data from 2016 so that law enforcement agencies may use the tool during the fall and provide feedback to our office, which may be incorporated to enhance the tool’s functionality.  

“As a country, we must engage in an honest, transparent, and data-driven conversation about police use of force,” said Attorney General Harris.  “I am proud that California continues to lead the nation in the adoption of technology and data to improve our criminal justice system and keep our streets safe.”

One of the objectives of the OpenJustice initiative is to modernize data infrastructure, and this reporting tool will dramatically improve the speed and quality of data submitted, allowing data from the most complex incidents to be entered by law enforcement in under five minutes. The application includes dynamic screening questions and intelligent error-checking to help agencies input more accurate data. In addition, the platform’s advanced security features and role-based review workflows improve data reliability and integrity. This tool also minimizes costs for law enforcement, as its web-based interface and cloud storage reduce the need for local investment in custom data collection systems.

“The California Police Chiefs Association was an early supporter of AB 71, relating to use of force data, and has been collaborating with the Department of Justice ever since the bill was signed by the Governor last year,” said CA Police Chiefs Association President Chief Ken Corney. “We believe it is a sound practice to gather and report use of force data and make this information available to the public.”

“I commend Attorney General Harris on her development and launch of URSUS,” said California Highway Patrol Commissioner Joe Farrow.  “URSUS will assist law enforcement in gathering critical data involving use of force by a peace office, or by a civilian against a peace officer, that results in serious injury or death or involves the use of a firearm in order to meet the requirements of Assembly Bill 71. I am confident the introduction of URSUS and the collection of this data and information will improve the relationship between law enforcement and the communities that we serve.” 

“We are proud to participate in this very important program. This technology is crucial to providing accurate public data on incidents involving the use of force,” said Walnut Creek Police Chief Thomas Chaplin.  “We wholeheartedly support this approach to create additional transparency and ease of accessibility for use of force data.”  

In addition to facilitating statewide collection, this tool also provides a suite of analytical tools for local agencies to better monitor incidents in their own jurisdictions, including features such as a dashboard, interactive charts, and pivot tables. Smaller agencies that may not currently have their own tracking systems will particularly benefit from these tools. 

The reporting tool was built through a first-of-its-kind collaboration between the California Department of Justice and Bayes Impact, a technology-for-good non-profit organization. In her continuing efforts to bring civic technology to government, Attorney General Harris established this unique partnership combining the California Department of Justice’s knowledge and expertise in law enforcement with Bayes Impact’s expertise in agile software development. The application was developed in just over six months, in ongoing collaboration with 12 pilot law enforcement agencies.

As part of the Attorney General’s commitment to ensuring that government technology serves the public, this tool was built as an open-source project and the software code will be made available free of charge to other states and agencies. Its open-source nature will also reduce ongoing maintenance costs as compared to a proprietary solution. 

Yesterday, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law the OpenJustice Data Act of 2016 (Assembly Bill 2524), which the California Legislature unanimously passed last month. This law, sponsored by Attorney General Harris and authored by Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks), will convert Crime in California and other annual reports published by the California Department of Justice into digital datasets, which will be published on the Attorney General’s OpenJustice Web portal. The data from AB 71 will be posted on OpenJustice in early 2017.

Attorney General Harris first launched the OpenJustice initiative in 2015 as a mechanism for improving trust between communities and law enforcement, enhancing government accountability, and informing public policy with data. 

Earlier this year, the Attorney General announced the release of OpenJustice 1.1, which enriched the web portal’s initial data sets with city and county level data exploration tools and contextual information including population and demographic information, unemployment rates, poverty rates, and educational attainment levels.  In addition to providing greater transparency, this information enables policymakers to craft more informed, data-driven public policy.

Attorney General Harris has also taken several steps to strengthen the relationship of trust between law enforcement and California communities.  She directed a 90-day Review of her Division of Law Enforcement’s policies on use of force and implicit bias, convened the state’s law enforcement leaders to share best practices through her 21st Century Policing Working Group, created the first POST-certified course on Procedural Justice and Implicit Bias in the U.S., and developed a pilot for body-worn cameras for DOJ Special Agents.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases Statement Following Bombings in New York and New Jersey

September 19, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today released the following statement on the bombings in New York and New Jersey:

"The bombings in New Jersey and New York, which are being investigated as acts of terrorism, represent an attack on our most fundamental American values. I am thankful to the first responders and law enforcement officials who acted so swiftly to apprehend the suspect and prevent the loss of life. My thoughts and prayers are with all those injured and impacted by the explosions."

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris to Speak at the Memorial Service for San Diego Police Officer DeGuzman

August 4, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

EL CAJON – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris is attending and will speak at the memorial service for San Diego Police Officer Jonathan “JD” DeGuzman, who was killed in the line of duty on July 28th.

WHEN:

Tomorrow, August 5, 2016

11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

WHERE:

Shadow Mountain Community Church

2100 Greenfield Drive

El Cajon, CA 92019

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrest in Embezzlement Case in Sacramento

July 21, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Kevin Manz Allegedly Embezzled over $1 Million from Local Charitable Organizations

SACRAMENTO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the arrest of Kevin Manz, 59, on felony charges of grand theft for embezzling money from multiple charitable organizations in the Sacramento area. According to the criminal complaint, filed today in Sacramento Superior Court, Manz illegally directed funds from Cathedral Pioneer Church Homes Inc., Cathedral Pioneer Church Homes Foundation, and the Pioneer Foundation to personal bank and business accounts and used the funds for personal expenses such as jewelry and cars.

“Preying on charities that benefit senior citizens is despicable behavior that will not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Harris. “My office will continue to prosecute those who embezzle and misuse charitable funds for personal gain. I thank the California Department of Justice Special Agents for their diligent investigative efforts in this case.” 

Manz is a licensed attorney in Kansas who gained the trust of charity boards and church congregations in the Sacramento area.  He convinced multiple charitable organizations, including foundations that provide housing for seniors, to allow him to manage their financial accounts.  According to the criminal complaint, he then embezzled over $1 million from three charitable organizations.

The arrest came after a 5-month investigation by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Investigation and the Tax Recovery and Criminal Enforcement Task Force.  The case will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section.

A copy of the felony complaint is attached to the online version of this press release at oag.ca.gov/news.

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Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Arrests and Indictments by California Department of Justice Mortgage Strike Task Force

July 12, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

Six Defendants Indicted on 135 Felony Counts For Scam That Cost Vulnerable Homeowners $4 Million

SAN DIEGO – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that six individuals were indicted and arrested on 135 felony charges for operating a mortgage fraud scheme throughout Southern California and the Inland Empire, preying on homeowners facing foreclosure.  The case is being prosecuted by attorneys in the Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, created by Harris in 2011 to prosecute mortgage fraud at every step of the process.

Jacob Orona, Aide Orona, John Contreras, Prakashumar ("Kash") Bhakta, Marcus Robinson, and David Boyd were indicted by a grand jury on 135 felony charges, including conspiracy, grand theft, filing false or forged documents, and identity theft.  All six defendants were arrested last week and one defendant, Marcus Robinson, was arraigned yesterday, Monday, July 11, in San Diego Superior Court.

"I created the Mortgage Fraud Task Force in 2011 to ensure that we tirelessly protect Californians struggling to stay in their homes from those who would prey upon them for profit.  This indictment is result of a joint effort to remain vigilant in the investigation and prosecution of those who attempt to defraud homeowners through the mortgage process," said Attorney General Harris. "I thank our Mortgage Fraud Strike Force and California Department of Justice Special Agents, as well as our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners, for their efforts on this case."

The scam artists promised homeowners who were underwater on their mortgages that they could provide legal remedies to avoid foreclosure, convincing homeowners to stop making mortgage payments and instead pay them $3,500 to start with an “administrative process,” plus $1,000 every month and separate amounts to allegedly file legal documents.  The defendants filed bogus petitions and court pleadings and recorded false deeds in county recorders’ offices, causing over $4 million in loses while failing to halt any foreclosures.  The fraud stretched through San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties.

The indictment was delivered following a two-week special statewide grand jury convened in San Diego County.  If convicted, Jacob and Aide Orona face over 90 years in prison; Contreras and Prakashkumar face over 70 years in prison; Robinson faces over 28 years in prison, and Boyd faces over 18 years in prison.

The arrests and arraignments are the culmination of a joint investigation by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General (FHFAOIG), the Attorney General’s Financial Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section (FFSPS), the California Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation, and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, Real Estate Fraud Unit.

Attorney General Harris created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force within the California Department of Justice in May 2011.  Composed of both civil and criminal enforcement teams, the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force monitors and prosecutes violations at every step of the mortgage process, from the origination of mortgage loans to the marketing of mortgage-backed securities to the investing public. 

Attorney General Harris has long been dedicated to prosecuting mortgage fraud.  She secured approximately $20 billion for California in the National Mortgage Settlement and sponsored the California Homeowner Bill of Rights, a package of laws instituting permanent mortgage-related reforms.  In 2009, as District Attorney of San Francisco, she launched the first stand-alone district attorney’s mortgage fraud unit in California.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Releases 2015 California Crime Reports

July 1, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

For the first time, Attorney General publishes the report’s raw data to encourage researchers to further analyze data to address issues in the criminal justice system

SACRAMENTO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the release of four annual crime reports, which provide law enforcement agencies and the public with statewide data on crime statistics in their communities.

The reports released include:

The Attorney General is also making raw data from the Crime in California report easily and widely available in an effort to promote transparency and encourage researchers, academics and interested parties to further analyze the data. The information can be accessed via the Attorney General’s OpenJustice website, which shares key findings in its data stories and publishes raw data on its data portal from the California Department of Justice’s statewide repository of criminal justice datasets.    

This March, Attorney General Harris and Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin introduced Assembly Bill 2524, which would convert Crime in California and other criminal justice annual reports published by the California Department of Justice into a set of key findings, data visualizations, and downloadable digital datasets that will be updated quarterly on the Attorney General’s OpenJustice Web portal. 

Crime in California 2015 presents statewide statistics for reported crimes, arrests, dispositions of adult felony arrests, adults placed on probation, full-time criminal justice personnel, citizens’ complaints against peace officers, domestic violence related calls for assistance, and law enforcement officers killed or assaulted. Highlights for 2015:

  • The violent & property crime rates per 100,000 population increased from 2014 to 2015; the 2015 rates are 2.9% and 0.4%  lower than 2010 (respectively)
  • From 2010 to 2015, the robbery and aggravated assault rates decreased 13.2% and 1.1%, respectively  
  • The arrest rate decreased by 4.5% from 2014 to 2015; a total of 1,158,812 arrests in the state in 2015; the lowest since 1969 (1,212,845 arrests in 2014) 
  • Misdemeanor Driving Under the Influence arrests decreased for the fifth year in a row
  • Adult felony arrest rates decreased by approximately 29% (predominantly burglary and drug offenses) and adult misdemeanor rates increased by 10% (also predominantly burglary and drug offenses) most likely due to the reclassification of prop 47 crimes
  • There was an 8.1% increase in all aggravated assaults and 15.7% increase in aggravated assaults with a firearm from 2014 to 2015
  • Assaults on peace officers increased by 10% from 2014 to 2015

Homicides in California 2015 contains information related to homicide, including demographic data on victims, persons arrested for homicide, persons sentenced to death, peace officers feloniously killed in the line of duty, and justifiable homicides. Highlights from 2015:

  • The homicide rate increased in 2015 (from 4.4 to 4.8 per 100,000); a total of 1,861 homicides in the state 
  • Over the past decade the homicide rate ranged from a high of 6.9 in 2006 to last year’s low of 4.4
    • In 2015, 82.8% of homicide victims were male and 17.2% were female
    • The largest proportion of victims has consistently been Hispanic
    • There were 163 justifiable homicides reported in 2015, with 130 committed by a peace officer and 33 committed by a private citizen
    • Firearms are used in over 70% of homicides in 2015; there was a 9.2% increase in the number of homicides with a firearm compared to 2014 

Hate Crime in California 2015 reports statistics on hate crimes that occurred in California during 2015. Highlights from 2015:

  • Hate crime events increased 10.4% from 758 in 2014 to 837 in 2015; the vast majority of this increase is attributed to an uptick in events involving religious bias
  • Hate crime events involving a religious bias increased 49.6% from 127 in 2014 to 190 in 2015
  • Hate crime events with a sexual orientation bias are the second most common type of hate crime over the past 10 years (2006 – 2015)
  • The total number of hate crime events has decreased 35.9% from 1,306 in 2006 to 837 in 2015
  • Anti-Islamic (Muslim) bias events increased from 18 in 2014 to 40 in 2015; anti-Jewish bias events rose from 80 in 2014 to 97 in 2015.
  • Hate crime events targeting Hispanics increased 35% from 60 in 2014 to 81 in 2015.
  • Anti-black motivation hate crimes continue to the most common hate crime, accounting for 31.9% (3,443) of all hate crime events since 2006.

Juvenile Justice in California 2015 provides insight into the juvenile justice process by reporting the number of arrests, referrals to probation departments, petitions filed, and dispositions for juveniles tried in juvenile and adult courts. Highlights from 2015:

  • Juvenile arrests decreased for the seventh year in a row and are at the lowest levels ever
  • There were 71,923 juvenile arrests reported by law enforcement agencies in 2015, down 17% from 2014
  • In 2015 more than half of the juvenile (58.2%) arrests were for a misdemeanor offense and nearly a third (29.7%) were arrested for a felony offense  
  • Among those arrested in 2015, 53% were Hispanic/Latino, 22% were white, and 19% were Black 

A complete copy of the reports can be found here: http://openjustice.doj.ca.gov/publications

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Membership of New Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board, Including Prominent Law Enforcement and Civil Rights Leaders

June 30, 2016
Contact: (916) 210-6000, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

LOS ANGELES – Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced the establishment of the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board, including the community and law enforcement leaders who will comprise the board membership. The board, as mandated by Assembly Bill 953 authored by Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego), is tasked with helping to eliminate racial and identity profiling in law enforcement.

"Keeping our communities safe requires a strong relationship of trust between law enforcement and those they are sworn to serve.  The existence of bias in our criminal justice system is destructive to that trust and harms our ability to deliver justice,” said Attorney General Harris. “I look forward to working with these dedicated Californians, who represent our state's rich diversity, to improve policing and restore the trust needed to ensure that our justice system is truly just.”

In October 2015, Governor Brown signed AB 953, known as the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015. The Act includes requirements regarding a number of significant law enforcement issues, including: 1) Collection of data regarding citizen complaints alleging racial and identity profiling; 2) Collection of data regarding law enforcement stops and detentions; and 3) Creation of the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board.

Under the law, Attorney General Harris is responsible for establishing the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board, which is tasked with:

·         Advising the Department of Justice in drafting regulations to govern the collection and reporting of pedestrian and traffic stop data;

·         Annually reviewing and analyzing the stop data submitted by law enforcement agencies;

·         Working in partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies to review and analyze racial and identity profiling policies and practices across California; and

·         Conducting evidence-based research on intentional and implicit bias.

The board is comprised of current and former law enforcement officials, attorneys, community and spiritual leaders, university professors, and civil rights activists, including: Angela Sierra, Oscar Bobrow, Chief Edward Medrano, Sheriff David Robinson, President Michael Durant, Commissioner Joe Farrow, Professor Jennifer Eberhardt, Sahar Durali, Tim Silard, Mariana Marroquin, Timothy Walker, Reverend Ben McBride, Pastor J. Edward Boyd, Honorable Alice Lytle, Alex Johnson, Andrea Guerrero, Douglas Oden, and Honorable Micah Ali. Full biographies are included below.

The first meeting of the board will be held on Friday, July 8, 2016 at 10 a.m. in the Auditorium of the Ronald Reagan State Building (300 S. Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013). This meeting is open to the public and the meeting notice and agenda have been posted on the Attorney General’s website. The meeting will also be livestreamed and made available on the Attorney General’s website at https://oag.ca.gov.

More information about the implementation of AB 953 can be found at: https://oag.ca.gov/ab953

Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board Member Biographies

Angela Sierra is the designee of Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. Ms. Sierra is a Senior Assistant Attorney General in the California Department Justice and leads the Attorney General’s Civil Rights Enforcement Section. She has been a lawyer in the Department of Justice for over 29 years, focusing on police practices, voting rights, housing and employment discrimination, civil prosecution of hate crimes, discriminatory and unlawful business practices, disability access, immigration consultant fraud, reproductive rights, Native American cultural protection, and safeguarding essential access to education. 

Oscar Bobrow is serving as the representative of the California Public Defenders Association. Mr. Bobrow is the Chief Deputy Public Defender in Solano County, and previously served as a public defender for 25 years in Contra Costa County’s felony division. He has extensive experience litigating claims of racial bias in the criminal justice system due to the underrepresentation of minority populations in county jury venires.

Edward Medrano is serving as the representative of the California Police Chiefs Association. Chief Medrano has served in law enforcement for over 27 years and was appointed Chief of the Gardena Police Department in 2007. He currently serves as the California Police Chiefs Association’s (CPCA) 1st Vice-President. He also collaborates with the University of Illinois at Chicago as a national trainer and subject matter expert in the field of procedural justice.

David Robinson is serving as the representative of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, and is the Sheriff of the Kings County Sheriff’s Department. He attended the College of the Sequoias Kings-Tulare Police Academy and has worked in law enforcement for over 18 years, including serving as a District Attorney Investigator for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as a correctional officer in the Kings County Jail.

Michael Durant is the President of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, representing more than 66,000 public safety officers. Durant is a Senior Deputy Sheriff with Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. During his more than 29-year career in Law Enforcement, he has been assigned to Patrol, Field Training Officer, Investigations, Custody, Transportation, Canine Handler and Public Information Officer.

Joe Farrow is Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol and is the first Japanese-American appointed to lead the agency in its 81-year history. He served as a police officer with the Pacific Grove Police Department before he entered the CHP Academy in 1979. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the California Peace Officers’ Association, and the National Asian Peace Officers’ Association.

Jennifer Eberhardt, appointed by Attorney General Harris, is a professor at Stanford University in the Department of Psychology.  She investigates racial inequality using a wide-ranging array of methods. She has been named a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences.  She partnered with the California Department of Justice on its Principled Policing course and published a white paper assessing the effectiveness of the course in educating police officers about procedural justice and implicit bias, as well as shifts in perceptions about police-community relations.

Sahar Durali, appointed by Attorney General Harris, is the Directing Attorney of the Delano office of California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. in Kern County. In this role, she combines litigation, community lawyering, and direct legal services to represent low-income clients in education, civil rights, housing, and employment matters.

Tim Silard, appointed by Attorney General Harris, is President and CEO of the Rosenberg Foundation and has led the foundation’s efforts to make criminal justice reform and public safety a core grant-making focus. He chairs Funders for Safety and Justice in California, and co-chairs the national philanthropic Executives Alliance to Expand Opportunity for Boys and Men of Color Justice Reform and Public Safety Collective Action Table. Previously, he served for 12 years in the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.

Mariana Marroquin, appointed by Attorney General Harris, is a Guatemalan actress, community advocate, and Program Manager of The Anti-Violence Project at Los Angeles LGBT Center. For more than 15 years, she has worked not only for the LGBT community but also with other underserved populations in the field of HIV prevention, domestic violence, victims’ rights, substance abuse, immigration, advocacy and community organizing. 

Timothy Walker, appointed by Attorney General Harris, is a rising sophomore at San Francisco State University, where he plans to major in Political Science. He has served as a mentor at the Community Coalition, based in South Los Angeles, for the past 6 years. During his time there as a youth he helped lead educational based campaigns, and is now the Leadership Development Director for the Black Student Union at San Francisco State University.

Reverend Ben McBride, appointed by Attorney General Harris, is a long-time advocate for peace and justice through spiritual and community-based leadership. Serving as an executive director of non-profit organizations and a religious leader for nearly 15 years, he moved into one of Oakland’s difficult neighborhoods and became an instrumental partner in re-launching Operation Ceasefire, leading to a 35% reduction in homicides over two years. He serves as the primary civilian trainer for the department’s Procedural Justice & Police Legitimacy Course and partnered with the California Department of Justice on its Principled Policing course.

Pastor J. Edgar Boyd, appointed by Attorney General Harris, is the Pastor of the 142-year-old First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles (FAME), the oldest African American church in the city. As the Chief Executive Officer of FAME, he conceived the recent formation of the South Los Angeles Community Development and Empowerment Corporation to address social and economic issues impacting South Los Angeles. Prior to his assignment at FAME, he served as Pastor of the historic Bethel A.M.E. Church in San Francisco for 20 years. 

Honorable Alice Lytle, appointed by Governor Brown, served as presiding judge at the Juvenile Court in the Sacramento County Superior Court from 1995 to 1996, where she was master calendar judge for landlord-tenant cases from 1989 to 1992. She served as presiding judge at the Sacramento Municipal Court from 1988 to 1989, deputy legal affairs secretary in the Office of Governor Brown in 1979, chief of the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Fair Employment Practices from 1977 to 1979, and secretary at the California State and Consumer Services Agency from 1975 to 1977.

Alex Johnson, appointed by Governor Brown, is the Executive Director for the Children's Defense Fund-California and leads the organization’s statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low income families, reforming the juvenile justice system, promoting educational equity, and ending child poverty. He previously served as Assistant Senior Deputy for Education and Public Safety to Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and as an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, New York where he advocated for victims of domestic violence.

Honorable Micah Ali, appointed by Senate President pro Tempore De León, serves as Vice President (and Past President) of the Compton Unified School District Board of Trustees. He is President Emeritus of the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association and serves on the Boards of Directors of Friends of the Ballona Wetlands. Mr. Ali has demonstrated his leadership over a broad range of public policy issues, including education, environmental protection, and public health and safety.

Andrea Guerrero, appointed by Assembly Speaker Emeritus Atkins, was born in Mexico City and came to the US in time to start kindergarten. She has worked in San Diego as an attorney and policy advocate, focusing on the issues of immigrant rights and educational equity for the past 10 years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Equality Alliance of San Diego County, a non-profit organization pursuing strategic policy reforms at the local, state, and national level to improve the condition of immigrants, low-income communities, and communities of color.

Douglas Oden, appointed by Assembly Speaker Emeritus Atkins, is currently the Senior Litigation attorney with the law firm of Oden & Greene and has been very active in the legal community on the local, state and national level. He is a former President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association and a Past President of the California Association of Black Lawyers.