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AB 953: The Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015


The proposed Stop Data Regulations have been released for public comment. The public comment period closed on January 27, 2017. For more information on the Stop Data Regulations, visit: oag.ca.gov/ab953/regulations


Links to topics below

Introduction

On October 3, 2015, Governor Brown signed Assembly Bill (AB) 953, known as the Racial and Identity Profiling Act of 2015. The Act includes requirements regarding a number of significant law enforcement issues, including:

  • Collection of Data Regarding Citizen Complaints Alleging Racial and Identity Profiling
  • Collection of Data Regarding Law Enforcement Stops and Detentions
  • Creation of the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board

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Citizen Complaints Alleging Racial and Identity Profiling

Since 1981, the California Department of Justice has collected data from law enforcement agencies on citizen complaints against peace officers, including the number of complaints received, the number alleging either felony or misdemeanor criminal conduct, and the number sustained in each category. AB 953 expanded the type of complaints that agencies are required to report to the Department of Justice, as well as the specific data to be reported for complaints.

Specifically, beginning January 2016, in addition to reporting on citizen complaints received by law enforcement agencies under Penal Code section 832.5 and citizen complaints alleging felony or misdemeanor criminal conduct, AB 953 requires California law enforcement agencies to begin collecting and reporting data on complaints that allege racial or identity profiling. AB 953 also expanded the definition of racial and identity profiling, to clarify that it is “the consideration of, or reliance on, to any degree, actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability in deciding which persons to subject to a stop or in deciding upon the scope or substance of law enforcement activities following a stop, except that an officer may consider or rely on characteristics listed in a specific suspect description.” The entirety of the new definition can be found in Penal Code section 13519.4, subdivision. (e).

AB 953 also requires that, with respect to citizen complaints that allege racial or identity profiling, law enforcement agencies collect and report the specific type(s) of profiling alleged, in other words, whether the alleged profiling is based on, to any degree, actual or perceived race (including color), ethnicity, nation origin, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or mental or physical disability. (Penal Code, § 13012, subd. (5)(A).)

With respect to all citizen complaints reported, in addition to providing the total number of complaints reported, law enforcement agencies must also report the status and/or resolution of the complaint: sustained, exonerated, not sustained, unfounded, or pending. The Department of Justice will receive the first updated reports from law enforcement agencies beginning in January 2017, and will include this data in its annual report on crime, which is published every July. These reports will be available to the public, and will be disaggregated for each individual law enforcement agency.

The California Department of Justice has made a new form available to law enforcement agencies for capturing and reporting this expanded set of complaints submitted by civilians. The information bulletin, pdf and the new reporting form, pdf are available on the California Department of Justice website.

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Stop Data Collection Requirements and Proposed Regulations

In addition to requiring the collection and reporting of data regarding citizen complaints that allege racial or identity profiling, AB 953 requires all city and county local law enforcement agencies in California, as well as the California Highway Patrol and peace officers of California state and university educational institutions, to collect perceived demographic and other detailed data regarding pedestrian and traffic stops. Probation officers and officers in a custodial setting are excluded from this collection requirement.

The data to be collected includes, among other things, the perceived race or ethnicity, gender, and approximate age of the person stopped, as well as other data such as the reason for the stop, whether a search was conducted, and the results of any such search. Law enforcement agencies subject to this reporting requirement must report this data to the California Attorney General’s Office every year, with specific reporting deadlines set forth in the statute. (Gov. Code, § 12525.5, subd. (a) –(g).)

The proposed Stop Data Regulations have been released for public comment. The public comment period will close on January 27, 2016. For more information on the Stop Data Regulations and to submit public comment, visit the AB 953 Regulations page.

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The Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board (RIPA Board or Board)

AB 953 also mandates the creation of the Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board, for the purpose of eliminating racial and identity profiling and improving diversity and racial and identity sensitivity in law enforcement.

The RIPA Board will advise the Attorney General’s Office on the drafting of the stop data regulations and annually review and analyze the stop data submitted by law enforcement agencies. On an annual basis, the Board will work in partnership with state and local law enforcement agencies to review and analyze racial and identity profiling policies and practices across geographic areas in California; conduct and consult available evidence-based research on intentional and implicit bias and law enforcement stop, search, and seizure tactics; review and analyze stop data and citizen complaint data required by AB 953; and consult with the Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training regarding racial and identity profiling training required by AB 953. Beginning on January 1, 2018, the RIPA Board must produce an annual report that includes the Board’s analyses, including detailed findings on the past and current status of racial and identity profiling, and its policy recommendations for eliminating this unlawful practice.

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Past Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board Meetings

The RIPA Board must hold at least three public meetings annually to discuss racial and identity profiling, including one in northern California, one in central California, and one in southern California.

Past RIPA Board Subcommittee Meetings

Additional Data Elements subcommittee

Definitions subcommittee

Outreach subcommittee

Searches & Seizures subcommittee

Special Considerations/Settings subcommittee

Technology subcommittee



For questions about the RIPA Board meeting, please contact:

Legal Assistant M. Luzy Ochoa
California Department of Justice
300 South Spring Street, Suite 1702
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 897-2636

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Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board Composition

The Attorney General will establish the RIPA Board beginning July 1, 2016. The Board will consist of the following members:

  1. The Attorney General, or his or her designee.
  2. The President of the California Public Defenders Association, or his or her designee.
  3. The President of the California Police Chiefs Association, or his or her designee.
  4. The President of California State Sheriffs’ Association, or his or her designee.
  5. The President of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, or his or her designee.
  6. The Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol, or his or her designee.
  7. A university professor who specializes in policing, and racial and identity equity.
  8. Two representatives of human or civil rights tax-exempt organizations who specialize in civil or human rights.
  9. Two representatives of community organizations who specialize in civil or human rights and criminal justice, and work with victims of racial and identity profiling. At least one representative shall be between 16 and 24 years of age.
  10. Two religious clergy members who specialize in addressing and reducing racial and identity bias toward individuals and groups.
  11. Up to two other members that the Governor may prescribe.
  12. Up to two other members that the President Pro Tempore of the Senate may prescribe.
  13. Up to two other members that the Speaker of the Assembly may prescribe.

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Racial and Identity Profiling Act Regulations

Drafts and notices regarding the stop data regulations to be promulgated under AB 953 will be posted on this website.

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