San Jose police unveiled the first phase of a groundbreaking policy on Tuesday to chronicle every time they stop and detain someone regardless of whether it yields an arrest, responding to long-standing concerns about possible racial profiling. The idea was the brainchild of Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell. Kris Sanchez reports.
After two years of debate and discussions, San Jose Police announced Tuesday they are finally rolling out a new policy aimed at battling racial profiling.
The policy forces officers to record the ethnicity of people they detain but ultimately don’t place under arrest.
The new policy is in effect as of Sept. 1. San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor recommended the policy two years ago, and it’s now finally being implemented.
The policy deals with the three C’s: curbs, cuffs and cars. That refers to when officers initiate a stop, make someone sit on the curb, place them in handcuffs or force them to sit in the back of a police car.
Former police chief Chris Moore ordered officers to document all the stops they make in those cases, and especially when there is no arrest. But, shortly after acting chief Larry Esquivel took over, he suspended the policy.
The initial recommendation came in response to complaints from minority groups who said they were being targeted By San Jose police, especially with the practice of “curb sitting.”
A spokeswoman for the department explained why it took two years to make this happen.
“This was a long process,” Heather Randol said. “We retooled the initial policy, took input from the officers. We wanted to know how to make their job more efficient. We want to support proactive police work. We realize that it is vital to maintaining safe communities. And what we came up with was a workable policy that will be efficient for the officers."
In a telephone interview, San Jose’s Independent Police Auditor Ladoris Cordell said, “This policy is groundbreaking. No other police department in the country is doing this, and they should be. It’s good for everybody. It’s a win-win.”
The auditor’s office also said it would be December before the department will be able to glean anything from this new information.