SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - On Wednesday, the San Diego Police Department issued a press release in which the Chief reaffirmed his commitment to unbiased policing, months before the anticipated release of a new report about officers stopping people in the field. It comes amid community concern over a different report that suggests that minorities are stopped at higher rates.
Over FaceTime on Wednesday, 10News spoke with Chris Burbank, a retired police chief from Utah who is now working with the Center for Policing Equity. It’s a nonprofit that looks at data surrounding police interactions with the community. “We try and reduce the disparity that exists in law enforcement today, throughout the country,” he adds.
In September, his team partnered with SDPD to start analyzing the department’s stop data for a new report that should be released in about six months. Wednesday’s press release states in part, “Police Chief David Nisleit [reaffirms] his commitment to reviewing internal operations and making any necessary changes based on the report's findings."
Last week, a separate ACLU-commissioned report was released that caused some community concern. According to the ACLU, records from SDPD and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department show a pattern of discriminatory policing against black people and people with disabilities.
SDPD has not issued a formal comment on the ACLU-commissioned report. Last week, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department sent 10News the following statement.
“The San Diego Sheriff's Department is committed to providing the highest level of public safety in all the neighborhoods we serve. We expect all of our stops, detentions, arrests, and searches to be constitutional and within Sheriff's policy. We regularly meet with community groups which allow us to address concerns and continue to build trust with the citizens of San Diego County. We have just been made aware of a report evaluating policing in San Diego. It would be premature to speak about the findings prior to reading and evaluating the methodology used to reach the conclusions presented in the report. However, at a glance some of the statistics in the report do not correlate with our numbers. For example, the report seems to overstate the rate at which Blacks and Hispanics are stopped within Sheriff's jurisdictions. The numbers in the ACLU report do not appear to be consistent with our data. Once we have had ample time to review the report, we will provide a more comprehensive response.”
10News reached out to the Sheriff’s Department again on Wednesday for any new comment. We are awaiting a response.