February 27, City Council meets to received SDPD’s plan for addressing the biased policing documented in this report. Racial profiling is unjust, unjustified, and undermines community trust.
This past November, the Public Safety & Livable Neighborhoods Committee received an independent report analyzing demographics on police traffic stops. San Diegans then learned what many of us already knew to be true: the San Diego Police Department treats drivers differently based on race and ethnicity. The report data revealed disturbing disparities between policing of White drivers and drivers of color – particularly Black and Latino drivers, who were found to be stopped, searched and questioned more frequently.
The following incidents Uaptsd will address, all occurred in the City Heights Neighborhood are examples of those stops, and all videos are available online on the Irate Productions Youtube Channel. Links were also forwarded to members of City Council for both them and their staff to review (see below)
My name is Catherine Mendonca, I’m a principle member of United Against Police Terror, San Diego, and attached you will find incidents of racial profiling observed by our organization through our copwatch project complete with links, in anticipation of the PSLN mtg today at 1pm.
UAPTSD has documented over 50 stops in the past 3 months where, we feel that in many of these instances, the race of the individual stopped was a factor in why they were stopped.
As it was stated in every recent report based on racial profiling data cards from the San Diego Police Department; citywide, drivers of color were more likely than white drivers to be searched following a traffic stop and subject to more field interviews than whites, but white drivers were more often found in violation of the law.
The incidents below, for your review, all occurred in the City Heights Neighborhood, and are examples of those stops, and all videos are available online on the Irate Productions Youtube Channel.
On November 30th, a black man walking with a cane down University Avenue was stopped at the intersection of 44th and University. He was, cuffed, searched, and then released. Allegedly he was swinging the cane. No arrest was made.
On January 8th, 2 black males were stopped and searched in the alley way between 44th and Polk, where there was reported screaming in the alley way. When cop watchers arrived on the scene, everything was quiet. Both men were released and no arrests were made.
On February 7th, at the the Starbucks on Fairmount Avenue, a black male was stopped, cuffed, searched, and then released. Again, no arrest was made.
On February 15th, At the intersection of 43th and University two individuals of color were pulled over, their vehicle was searched, including the trunk, because, according to police audio, they “fit the description.” The couple was released and no arrests were made.
On February 20th, Cop watchers captured video of what appears to be San Diego Police Breaking Curb Sitting Policy TB14-03 IIIA,B according to their written policy while on 3800 43rd st in City Heights while stopping three latino males, and once again, no arrest was made. https://youtu.be/NZIzaO3uBcE
These stops ARE stop and frisk in practice, and in City Heights, this a normal occurrence. These are only 5 instances I summarized that indicate the larger problem: that stop-and-frisk is practiced regularly by SDPD, effectively making it SDPD policy.
In addition to observing and filming these instances, I also actively listen to police scanner audio as my right to stay involved in my community. Daily we hear instances of racial profiling by the San Diego Police Department over the police radio over many of the channels, but we must say that it is especially bad on the gang unit channel. From an individual’s hair, to their clothing, to what is posted on facebook, the San Diego police will come up with any reason they want to stop, question, and search you. Profiling is ingrained in the policies and practices of the San Diego Police department, and the practice needs to stop.