New SDPD chief holds town hall: Concerns of racial profiling addressed

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Police Department Chief Shelley Zimmerman held a town hall in Chollas View on Monday and listened to concerns raised about racial profiling.

“It's definitely a concern,” said Samantha Thornton. “I've actually been a victim of it. It ruined my first marriage, actually, for being racially profiled … him having to do extensive time.”

Tensions were already high in January when then-Chief William Lansdowne got an earful at a City Council committee meeting.

Some who attended the January meeting held up signs complaining of racial profiling. One sign read, "Why do I always fit the description?” It was a sobering sampling of inner-city conceptions.

“My experience is they’ve always been there to harass me,” said one man at the meeting.

The soon-to-be chief was there too that day, and she was listening.

“It really doesn't matter what I think,” Zimmerman said. “What matters is what the community thinks and if the perception of some community members is that we racially profile then we have to make sure we continue that open dialogue so the perception is that we work together collaboratively with our community.”

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