New RIPA report contains first full-year analysis of stop data in California
California Department of Justice highlights expanded access to RIPA data through online data dashboards on OpenJustice
SACRAMENTO – The California Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board (Board) today announced the release of its fourth annual report on racial and identity profiling in policing in the state as required under the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015 (RIPA). The report contains an analysis of the nearly 4 million vehicle and pedestrian stops conducted by California’s 15 largest law enforcement agencies in 2019. The report also examines civilian complaint data, provides recommendations from the Board, and shares best practices in a number of areas, including on bias-free policing policies, bias by proxy and crisis intervention, and training. In addition to the Board’s latest report, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) is highlighting recently expanded access to RIPA data on stops in schools and search discovery rates through online dashboards on OpenJustice. Ultimately, this latest RIPA report aims to directly contribute to the conversation on police reform through data and research, policy recommendations, and accountability mechanisms that will help give communities, legislators, and law enforcement tools for innovative and critically-needed action.
“2020 has shown us that the work of the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board is more critical than ever before,” said Sahar Durali, Co-Chair of the Board and Associate Director of Litigation and Policy at Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles. “This year’s RIPA report contains detailed data analysis of police stops and searches across racial and identity groups, as well as comprehensive best practices for law enforcement agencies to root out racial and identity profiling in their practices, policies, and culture and be accountable to their communities. I want to extend my deepest thanks and appreciation to the dedicated staff at the Department of Justice and community members who continually show up to RIPA Board meetings and offer us their experiences and expertise for their efforts this year.”
“On behalf of the California Police Chiefs Association, it has been my honor to represent our association alongside the many distinguished members of the RIPA Board. The data in this report will be used by our profession to evaluate our practices as we continue to strive for police services that are fair and impartial,” said Chief David Swing, Co-Chair of the Board and Past-President of the California Police Chiefs Association. “We know that successful policing outcomes are founded in strong community partnerships, we hope the information in this report will result in positive outcomes in our communities. I am ever grateful for the Peace Officers throughout our State who serve their communities with honor, working diligently each and every day to improve the quality of life for those they serve.”
“Another year of collecting RIPA data means a greater opportunity to address police reform with hard data,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “I want to thank the members of the RIPA Board — and our team at the DOJ involved in preparing this report — for helping make this critical information available to all. The more data we have about policing in our state, the more targeted and precise we can be in our reform and interventions.”
The information collected under RIPA includes data on peace officers’ perceptions of the demographics of stopped individuals. The purpose of collecting information on officer perceptions is to attempt to systematically document and analyze stops and searches to determine whether disparities can be found across demographics and geographies. The perceived demographic information collected includes a number of characteristics such as race or ethnicity, gender, age, disability status, English fluency, and LGBT identity. There are a number of methodologies to analyze stop data that can help determine if bias may exist, and the report relies on several well-established methods as reference points. However, as noted in the report, there are important limitations and caveats for each methodology that should be kept in mind when interpreting the data. Some of the key findings from the 2019 round of data collection and first full year of RIPA data include:
For more on the latest round of RIPA data, members of the public are encouraged to review the online RIPA data dashboards available on OpenJustice. The dashboards provide a unique look at the data and give the public unprecedented access to information on stops and searches conducted by California’s 15 largest law enforcement agencies collected from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. The two newest dashboards go into greater detail regarding on-campus stops of K-12 public school students and search discovery rates and outcomes of stops. For more on the information contained in the 2021 Board report, members of the public are also encouraged to review the fact sheet and report appendices. The report appendices contain tabulated summaries of the data.
In addition to the two RIPA data dashboards referenced above, a general dashboard is available on the DOJ website here.