There is no doubt that black San Diegans make up a disproportionate share of crime victims and crime suspects. There is no doubt that when I am in San Diego court I see more African Americans than I see when I am out and about around San Diego.
There is a a variety of socioeconomic factors that would fill up books. There is no doubt that some of my African American clients almost have to “prove” they are “regular” citizens to police just to ensure they will get a generic stop in San Diego DUI and other cases.
No matter the reasons this disproportionate number is an issue that needs to be examined and hopefully addressed. When dealing with police and the law citizens should demand the law be enforced fairly. If there is an issue with the law we as citizens need to use of power to change the vote. On that note…..I am beginning my goal of making Trolley Barn Park an off-leash dog park. Have a great Sunday.
As is the case elsewhere in the country, black San Diegans make up a disproportionate share of crime victims and crime suspects.
In 2013, blacks made up 5 percent of the county population, but 27 percent of violent crime victims and 29 percent of violent crime suspects were black. The 2013 crime data was in line with previous studies by the San Diego Association of Governments, which keeps the data.
According to a SANDAG crime bulletin from last year, “Blacks were overrepresented in every violent crime category in comparison to their proportion in the population.”
Cindy Burke, who keeps the data for SANDAG, said the best available discussion of possible racial bias in the San Diego justice system comes from a 2008 study of the juvenile system.
The study found that “race, along with other legal and social factors, increased the likelihood of a youth being detained following arrest.”
Latino youth were 2.8 times more likely than white youth to be detained, meaning held in custody, while black youth were 1.8 times more likely to be detained.
Despite evidence that a disproportionate number of black youth were serving time in long-term juvenile detention centers, the study did not find that race increased the likelihood of such detention.
Taken together, gang affiliation, prior criminal record and poor school performance were better predictors of long-term detention for youth, according to the study.
“It’s difficult to say the causality is race when there are so many socioeconomic factors tied to it,” Burke told the Watchdog.
Of the officers at the San Diego Police Department, 6.4 percent are black, mirroring the city’s 6.7 percent black population.
Lei-Chala Wilson, president of the San Diego chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said there is no doubt racial bias plays a role throughout the justice system in San Diego and other cities.
“The statistics have proven we don’t commit more crimes than anyone else, but we’re more likely to get stopped, detained and arrested,” she said. “The word is getting out and people are more aware of it.”
Inconsistencies in how data on race and police use of force are reported make it difficult to analyze, but Brian Marvel of the San Diego Police Officers Association said it’s imperative for law enforcement to listen to the community’s concerns and improve relationships wherever possible.
“Just because we don’t think there’s a problem, it doesn’t mean the community doesn’t think there’s one,” Marvel said.
Marvel said the events in Ferguson and New York were “a good opportunity for law enforcement to take a look at those incidents and see what we can gain.”
The full article can be found here.
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