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Auditor Finds CA Police Department Bias Against Women, Minorities

A scathing report by California's Auditor of five large law enforcement agencies found evidence of officer bias against women, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people, as well as inadequate department policies and procedures to stop discrimination or investigate incidents once they come to light, NPR reports. The report says none of the departments has implemented a clear plan to address bias and discrimination among officers. "Without a comprehensive approach to guard against the presence and effects of bias," the report says, "the departments will be less able to identity, mitigate, and address bias." Auditors looked at both on-duty interactions with the public and publicly available social media posts of hundreds of officers.

To critics, the report will be seen as more evidence of systemic racism in law enforcement and the need for wider structural changes in the screening, hiring, training, supervision, and oversight of police. The agencies California audited included police departments in San Bernardino, San Jose, and Stockton; the Los Angeles Sheriff's department; and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). Auditors found no clear evidence of employees' membership in hate groups in the five agencies. They did find some clear support for extremist and far-right groups such as the Proud Boys in the social media posts they had access to. Auditors reviewed the social media accounts of 750 officers and found that a number of officers posted bias statements on their social media accounts.


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