The San Francisco Police Department is accused being unethical to mask racial profiling among criminal suspects, reports the Bay Citizen. The department allegedly underreported numbers of Black and Latino arrests to show racial equality in suspects sought out by officers.
Adjusting the documents has a trickle-down effect in that it changes “Crime in California” statistics, since the city miscounted Latinos arrested as “White,” and Asians taken into custody as “other.”
Figures that did not go unchanged were those of Black arrestees, who remain atop the list, and contribute to San Francisco's reputation for unfairly profiling minorities. Further research from the Citizen uncovered that 8,198 Blacks, and 9,151 Whites, were arrested in San Francisco in 2010, while roughly 2,800 arrests were classified in the “other” box. As for Latinos, the numbers have changed from 705 arrests in 2000, to 283 arrests in 2005. “We have certainly made more than 300 arrests in the Hispanic community. I look at that number as a police officer and I can tell that it is inaccurate,” noted Deputy Chief Lyn Tomioka.
But the disparities don't stop there, according to Albert Samaha of San Francisco Weekly, the same thing occurs with the recording of gang statistics in the city.
“This is just extremely troubling,” said San Francisco Immigration Legal and Education Network senior immigration attorney, Francico Ugarte. “If San Francisco is effectively unable to categorize those in the city being arrested, that would undermine our ability to monitor police practices – particularly in San Francisco, with such a huge Latino population.”
When confronted with inquiries into the mishandling of arrest numbers, the department has blamed the mishap on its faulty computer system.
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