Since 2015, Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association (EBGBA) has been a leader in the fight to create a community-led commission with the power to independently investigate police conduct. After this long struggle, we are near the finish line.
An in-depth study released in November 2019 underscores the urgent need for San Diegans to advance the proposed commission. The results confirmed what many in our community already knew: Our local law enforcement uses harsher tactics when policing Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, LGBTQ+ drivers and pedestrians and people with perceived disabilities, than when policing white people and people without perceived disabilities.
The San Diego Police Department stopped Black people at a 219% higher rate per population than White people. Once stopped, Black people were more likely to be searched, arrested and to have force used against them, even though searches were less likely to find contraband on people of color. A Black person was 4.5x as likely and a Latinx person was 1.3x as likely to have deadly force used on them than a White person, even after controlling for arrest rates and alleged level of resistance.
The San Diego Police Department’s performance is deeply alarming. Even more alarming is the current system’s inability to hold police officers accountable for these actions. The recent study found that although there were 39 reports of police discrimination made during the relevant time period, 0% were ruled in favor of the individuals complaining. Similarly, although there were 75 use-of-force complaints, 0% were ruled in favor of community members. (To review the study in full, please click here.)
Given the the importance of the cause and EBGBA’s deep involvement, we ask that each member donate as generously as his or her circumstances will allow at this link. Your donation will be used to help fund the campaign to submit a charter amendment to the City of San Diego for placement on the November 2020 ballot.
With your support, we will bring some much-needed change to San Diego’s criminal justice system.
Andrea St. Julian, President