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September 14, 2015
Thousands of youth, parents, activists, and community leaders held demonstrations at state Capitol in Sacramento this month to draw attention to the growing problem of racial profiling and police brutality in their communities.
The event also generated support for AB 953, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Shirley Weber that will combat racial and identity profiling by law enforcement.
“Never forget why we are here,” Assemblymember Weber said during the event. “We’re here to represent the voices of the people of California; to respond to the tragedies in our streets; to ensure that all of us are treated with dignity and justice.”
California currently maintains the shameful distinction of having the nation’s highest rate of killings by law enforcement law. In fact, more people have been killed by the Los Angeles Police Department than any other law enforcement agency in the nation.
Furthermore, most of these unjust deaths are happening in our communities of color. Indeed, last year unarmed black males were over six times more likely than their white counterparts to die at the hands of police officers.
AB 953 will help ensure that boys of color have an opportunity to grow into thriving adulthood by combating racial profiling in addressing the disproportionate rates it impacts communities of color. Specifically, AB 953 will:
Update California’s definition of racial and identity profiling to be in line with federal recommendations by including other demographic characteristics, such as gender and sexual orientation.
Require that California law enforcement agencies uniformly collect and report data on stops, frisks, and other interactions with the communities they serve.
Establish an advisory board to analyze stop data and develop recommendations to address problems with disparate policing where they exist.
AB 953 is now awaiting signature on Governor desk. Call Governor Brown to demand that he support this common sense legislation.