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

Thursday, June 30, 2016
Contact: (415) 703-5837, 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.

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