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5 year DoJ monitoring of Stockton school district concludes

PIX Now afternoon edition 4-12-2024
PIX Now afternoon edition 4-12-2024 08:09

The California Department of Justice ended its monitoring of the Stockton Unified School District and its Department of Public Safety after five years, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced this week.

The school district had been monitored after a 2019 DOJ investigation concluded that its policies and practices had systemwide violations of civil and constitutional rights by district police of Black and Latino students and students with disabilities.

The investigation had also found unconstitutional search and seizure practices.

A stipulated judgement had been reached by the school district and the Department of Justice that required significant reforms as well as the monitoring.

A nine-page complaint that had been filed in Sacramento County stated that in November 2015, the Attorney General's Office had launched an investigation to determine if the district and their police were complying with state and federal laws when it came to interactions between officers and students.

In 2017, the Attorney General's Office concluded that discrimination had occurred.

"Lastly, the investigation involving incidents between 2013 and 2016 raised significant concerns about the use of force, including the use of handcuffs and restraints, by Department officers and District staff, which had resulted in part from a lack of an effective force review and complaint process," the complaint document stated.

One part of the complaint stated that the investigation found that the district failed to ensure effective communication in the context of law enforcement investigations for students who are hard-of-hearing or deaf.

SUSD Police Chief Mayra Franco said in a statement that the department was proud of the work that has been completed surrounding the DOJ agreement and said it helped place the department at the forefront of progressive policing.

"We will continue with our commitment to the work that has been completed and ensure that we provide our staff and students with a safe learning environment ensuring fair and equal justice," Franco said in the statement. 

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