Assemblywoman Shirley Weber’s bill to reform the troubled CalGang database, AB 90, took a step forward this week.
It passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, along with three of her other bills.
At Weber’s request, the state auditor did an extensive probe of the gang database, which law enforcement officers use to identify gang members. The audit was scathing – it found widespread errors and abuse of the system by police.
De’Andre Brooks, a documented gang member who grew up in the Stockton neighborhood of San Diego, testified during the hearing that inclusion in the database had a severe impact on his life.
Brooks was arrested coming off the trolley for a beating that he said took place at the station before he arrived. Because he was in the gang database, the judge in that case saw him “not as an individual, not as a young man, not as a person with a life, with a family, but as a gang member.”
Brooks also quoted data showing that in San Diego, blacks and Latinos appear in the database at vastly higher rates than their share of the population.
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".... in San Diego, blacks and Latinos appear in the (gang) database at vastly higher rates than their share of the population." Is this some sort of a crime, an intentional distortion or another example pf police untrustworthiness?
Let's get real here. Do blacks and Latinos constitute a disproportionate percent of gang members? I dunno, but you and I both suspect the answer is a big fat positive, right? Are blacks and Latinos committing a disproportionate percent of the murders and other violent crimes in major metropolitan areas compared to "...their share of the population"? No question they are. Their percentage in the population would appear to be irrelevant in discussions like these, but Sacramento lawmakers, particularly from San Diego, try to draw a fantasy picture of the situation by blaming crime rates on the police rather than the perps. This gets the discussion nowhere..
@Bill Bradshaw Your suspicions, sir, may or may not be supported by empirical data. I daresay that if it were, that data would have been presented, and you would not have to rely on suppositions an suspicions.
What has been empirically established is that the SDPD is biased (I prefer the term "racist") and this publication, VOSD, has been too cowardly to cover that story.
Finally; Jonathan De Guzman is dead because of misuse and abuse of the gang database, and biased-policing, and no degree of denial successfully disputes that fact.
And here in lies the problem Bill. By raising the question "Do blacks and Latinos constitute a disproportionate percent of gang members?" you run the risk of being labeled "racist".
rhyltons reply demonstrates the narrative. It is unfortunate.
@Mark Giffin @Bill Bradshaw The device of raising an assertion, not so cleverly disguised as a question, is the first problem. A far more pressing problem is the database itself, and how it is populated and maintained. It would take little to persuade me that the database is disproportionately populated by Blacks and Hispanics, but that is a different matter from who the gang members are.
Mr. Bradshaw has seen my comments in this area before, concerning the SDPD, and I have been proven massively right. That despite the truly amazing attempts, by the SDPD, to engineer its data to show otherwise.
Numbers never lie and Mr. Bradshaw has provided none- Disraeli's denial and the SDPD's efforts notwithstanding.