See Us In Action

This is the power of organizing in action and PUSH LA’s #StopTheStops campaign is just beginning.

PUSH LA officially launched with a huge rally and press conference outside the LAPD’s HQ on Wednesday, October 9th. The day before, the LA Times dropped an article with racial profiling data revealing that the LAPD searches Black & Latinx drivers at rates of 4 to 1 and 3 to 1 respectively compared to white ones, but find less contraband.

We didn’t just respond to the findings. We demanded action.

PUSH LA sent a letter of demands to Mayor Eric Garcetti & LAPD Chief Michel Moore. On Sunday, October 13th, the LAPD’s Metro Division, a long running racial profiling machine in South LA, announced that it would drastically cut back on random stops.

This is the power of organizing in action and PUSH LA’s #StopTheStops campaign is just beginning.

Demands Letter

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Dear Mayor Garcetti and Chief Moore,

As you know, the LA Times published a major data-driven story yesterday revealing that LAPD officers search Black & Latinx drivers at rates of more than 4 to 1 and 3 to 1 compared to white drivers, respectively, despite finding higher rates of contraband among white drivers. Of 385,000 vehicle stops the paper analyzed over a 10 month period, a shocking 3/4 are Black and Latinx people. Many of these searches are happening after stops for minor equipment violations.

These stark disparities are clear evidence of racial profiling, and they’re happening across all divisions of the LAPD. These vehicle searches are just the tip of the iceberg as the LAPD also has a long track record of aggressively searching the homes and schools of people of color.

The article adds to other troubling findings the LA Times published earlier this year about LAPD’s Metro Division stopping Black drivers at a rate more than 5 times their share of the city’s population. It found that 270 Metro officers – about 2% of the LAPD – have been deployed for hot-spot policing in primarily communities of color and have been making 60,000 vehicle stops per year – about 11% of LAPD’s total stops.[1] Data from the LAPD’s own portal shows that the LAPD made 197,045 pedestrian stops and 531,971 vehicle stops in 2018. By comparison, the New York Police Department at the height of its stop-and-frisk program (which led to national notoriety and a federal court finding the department in violation of the constitution) conducted 685,724 stops in 2011, a number that’s dropped to only 11,629 last year. As the NYPD has nearly four times as many officers and patrols a city twice as large, the LAPD makes approximately the same number of pedestrian stops per officer as the NYPD did at the height of stop-and-frisk. That’s even more startling given how many fewer pedestrians are in LA
compared to New York.

It’s 2019 and it’s still the reality that for Black & Brown Angelenos, going about our everyday activities can turn into life or death situations when law enforcement officers choose whom they’ll follow, harass, and harm based on skin color.

We, the undersigned Executive and Program Directors, are writing on behalf of PUSH (Promoting Unity Safety & Health) LA, a cross-sector coalition of base-building, advocacy, labor, and religious/interfaith organizations advocating for divestment from criminalization and punishment and reinvestment in our communities. The article’s findings weren’t surprising to residents in communities like South LA, Boyle Heights, and others. Indeed, they verify what we’ve been experiencing and saying for years. Accordingly, in light of the article’s findings, PUSH LA, whose mantra is to “Reimagine Protect and Serve”, has four key demands:

  1. We demand an end to these stops. Specifically, we demand an immediate moratorium on these pretextual stops that are used to initiate a search and racially profile the city’s Black and Brown residents. As part of this request, we demand an immediate withdrawal of the Metro Division from South Los Angeles.
  2. We demand that the LAPD officially and publicly admits to racial profiling and issues an apology to all residents of South LA and elsewhere in the city who’ve been unjustly stopped and searched.
  3. We demand reparations for these unlawful stops and searches.
  4. Officers who engage in unwarranted pretextual stops, who have patterns demonstrative of racial profiling, or who engage in misconduct and abuse must be disciplined and removed from our communities.

We look forward to your immediate action and response to these demands.


Melina Abdullah (Black Lives Matter Los Angeles), Charisse Bremond-Weaver (Brotherhood Crusade), Kelly Lytle Hernandez (Million Dollar Hoods), Shimica Gaskins (Children’s Defense Fund — California), John Kim (Advancement Project California), Alberto Retana (Community Coalition), Angelica Salas (CHIRLA), David Turner (Brothers, Sons, Selves), Eric Mann (Labor Community Strategy Center), Hector Villagra (ACLU Southern California), Reverend Zachary Hoover (LA Voice), April Verrett (SEIU 2015), Max Arias (SEIU Local 99), Pastor William Smart (Southern Christian Leadership Conference), and D’Artagnan Scorza (Social Justice Learning Institute).

[1] Cindy Chang and Ben Poston, ‘Stop-and-frisk in a car:’ Elite LAPD unit disproportionately stopped black drivers, data show​, Los Angeles Times (Jan. 24, 2019), at

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