The latest draft spelling out how California law enforcement officers will go about collecting data on people they stop is out.
The regulations are part of the implementation of AB 953, a law passed by San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Weber in 2015 requiring all California law enforcement agencies to collect data on who is being stopped by police.
It won’t just be traffic stops that trigger data collection – most interactions in which an officer stops and questions or detain someone will require officers to record the criteria. It also applies to police officers who are stationed within public schools.
Some of the elements officers are required to report are objective, like the amount of time a stop lasted. Others are more subjective – which has some people worried. Attendees at a recent meeting of the state’s Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board expressed concern that officers would just be guessing on factors like race.
Indeed, the new regulations acknowledge that some categories will come down to an officer’s perception – including of whether a person is gay:
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RIPA does not include age as a basis for a claim of or evaluation of bias or discrimination. Perception applies to the prohibited bases. So Joe Kocurek, is an idiot when he claims "“Profiling is based on perception. Officers don’t ask the facts of a person’s age, race or sexuality before they stop and question them. We are interested in what officers perceive about an individual and whether those perceptions alone motivate these stops." An officer often can discern or anticipate the race of a person at stand-off distance, as when they are in a vehicle, or on the basis of the neighbourhood. That is not so with age.
Actual age is objectively verifiable and quite different from perception of age. As such it ought not be compared to race (an artifice) or the perception of race in a environment that evaluates and claims to deal with discrimination on the basis of race. Moreove, race is a foreign key that allows the validation of a host of data elements that the DOJ shall be collecting in its "supposed" attempt to logically verify data. Why would a sensible person who wants to have verifiable data discard an actual value that may be verified by a number of means? Ah! "who wants to have verifiable data."