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Study suggests two-thirds of Angelenos believe LAPD racially profiles Black people

Angelenos believe LAPD racially profiles Black people more than other groups, according to study
Angelenos believe LAPD racially profiles Black people more than other groups, according to study 02:17

A new study, set to be fully released on Wednesday, suggests that the majority of Los Angeles residents believe that LAPD racially profiles Black people more than any other demographic.

 According to the study, performed by the Leavey Center for Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University, two-thirds of Angelenos are concerned with Los Angeles Police Department's racial profiling of Black people, believing they are targeted by police more often than other groups. 

The study is the second of a three-part analysis on the public opinion of LAPD. The first part was conducted back in 2020, in the wake of the George Floyd events in Minneapolis. 

Numbers show that less than half -- 43% -- of the 1,755 respondents involved in the study believe that officers treat all racial and ethnic groups equally. They also suggest that 56% of Angelenos surveyed believe officers are held accountable, while 55% believe officers only use force when necessary. 

In response to the data, LAPD Chief Michel Moore said that while the overall results show that the public is generally satisfied with the department, he is also concerned with the numbers on racial profiling. 

"We have lasting and ongoing concerns about the perception of policing in the city in regards to people who are of color and communities of color, and whether law enforcement and the LAPD can be trusted to act in an unbiased and a fair and impartial manner,'' Moore said during Tuesday's Board of Police Commissioners meeting.  

Still, the study shows that public trust in the department has increased by 7% since 2020, with 58% of respondents saying that they believe officers would do what is right "just about always" or "most of the time." While still not necessarily a high point of trust, that level surpassed those of the government (47%) and media (38%).

Of the people surveyed, just 16% were "very satisfied" with the LAPD. 50% indicated they were somewhat satisfied, while the remainder indicated they were either "not very satisfied," or "not very satisfied."

Numbers also showed that less than half of people were doing "very good" or "somewhat good" while responding to mental health crises and being well-trained in responding to people experiencing homelessness. Just 25% of the people surveyed said they f

In spite of those numbers, people did indicate that they were more pleased now with the department in 2020 in regards to maintaining public safety (69%), treating the community with respect (71%), listening to the needs of the community (62%) and responding to incidents with the proper amount of officers (66%). 

Just 25% of the people surveyed said they felt "unsafe" with LAPD officers in the neighborhood, while 50% said they felt "somewhat safe."  

Despite this, 75% indicated they would be okay with additional patrols in their neighborhoods, as crime rates continue to show a noted climb throughout Los Angeles County. 

While not all of the numbers were promising, Moore indicated that the data is trending in the right direction. 

"As officers are on patrol or in the street, they have opportunities to engage with our community and our community can engage with them," Moore said. "Then we see the public's trust go up and we see the safety of the community also go up."

The full study will be released Wednesday, and can be viewed here.

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