San Jose Police Collect, But Don’t Analyze Racial Data

By the Numbers: $1,820

Back in 1999, the San Jose Police Department led the charge in collecting racial data about the people it stops and arrests.

Original figures, based on a few months of traffic stops, implied racial profiling: black people made up 4.5 percent of the population but 7 percent of drivers stopped, versus white people who made up 43 percent of the population but 29 percent of stops.

“The community asked for the numbers and we gave them,” then-Chief William Lansdowne said at the time. “Up until this point, all we had were anecdotes. We can’t be afraid to look at the statistics.”

So is the SJPD now afraid? The department stopped analyzing such information in 2008, according to a recent report by the San Francisco Chronicle. When the newspaper made a public records request for the last five years of racial data, police said it would cost $1,820—broken down to $91 an hour for 20 hours of work.

“Trust me,” Lt. Anthony Mata told the Chron, “there’s so much that I want to do with the data that we do have. … However, because of time and the amount of work it’s going to take, we can’t.”

If a records request is too time consuming, perhaps one of San Jose’s intrepid City Council members could request the data. Or, maybe one of those newly hired civilian cops can drum up the findings. And if it really does take 20 hours to pull together reports of data that has already been collected, maybe the city should simply re-examine the way it compiles that information in the first place.

14 Comments

  1. …another “non-story” from SJI’s “Silicon Valley Newsroom.” If the Chron really wants the data then they should pay the $1820 – why are they reluctant to pay to the information? Perhaps they are acting on their “journalistic instinct” that the data will not support the often repeated baseless conclusion that SJPD targets people based on their race.

    IT wasn’t true in 1999 when the data collection began. IT wasn’t true the first time the data was analyzed whenever that was and it isn’t true today.

    Is SJPD afraid? NO. Why does the Chronicle via its local “water carriers” at SJI continue with this narrative that they fear there that SJPD is corrupt or hiding something that doesn’t exist? SJI , the Chron, the Merc and any number of other cowardly tabloids should shutter their doors for the blind eye they turn to their political heroes. Everyone of those entities is so full of COWARDS that it is a wonder they venture out with out a full supply of adult protective undergarments….

    PS: What’s with SJI’s currant obsession with Landsdowne? Featuring him twice is 2 weeks with the SJPD Chief’s job possibly coming open in January 2015? Coincidence or investing in future fodder for internet column-inches?

  2. Just a theory, but…the “hours of work” probably has something to do with analyzing the data that has been previously collected (as you continuously like to point out). Just saying “black people made up 4.5 percent of the population but 7 percent of drivers stopped, versus white people who made up 43 percent of the population but 29 percent of stops ” really doesn’t provide enough information for anyone to draw up solid conclusions. What were the causes for the stops in each instance? What were the outcomes of these stops? Were the people from San Jose or out of town? Where is the Latino population in these stats? I understand this information has its merits, but these media stories seem to be aimed at fanning the flames rather than really trying to get answers.

  3. When I look up the word “community” in the dictionary I find, despite a multiplicity of definitions, none that seem to help me understand the word as typically used by politicians and the media. As is the case in this post, the use of the word by then chief Lansdowne is treated by the media as if used properly and with a meaning the public understands. But is it?

    Just what “community” do you think it was that asked for the race data numbers? Was it the San Jose community? The business community? The academic community? Of course, we know it was none of those; it was, instead, a community that has been granted very special powers and zero responsibility: the “community that goes without saying” (CTGWS).

    But who’s in it? Some might assume the CTGWS represents the minority community, but in this city, where almost every race and ethnicity exists as a minority, it’s a bit more complicated. No, the key to understanding the CTGWS can be found by focusing on the “goes without saying.” What kind of community needs protection from that which makes it unique?

    The answer is obvious: the criminal community. In this and almost every city in America the “community that goes without saying” is composed of Hispanics and/or African-Americans who speak for the very people who commit the majority of crime, bring terror and ruin to our cities, and then pass the blame and demand better treatment. Perhaps if the law-abiding public understood just who it was our cowed politicians so often favor they wouldn’t stand for political opportunists (posing as police chiefs) saying things like:

    “The criminal community has asked that we collect data that will reveal them as lawbreakers so they might blame their misconduct on police prejudice. In expectation of the results, I stand ready to award promotions to ten additional incompetents, the precise racial make-up of the new commanders to be determined by which group the data shows is committing the most crime.”

  4. Sane people understand that objective analysis of data, without an agenda, is practically impossible when it comes to social phenomena.
    The Silicon Valley “Newsroom” suffers from the leftist delusion that there is some perfect, unbiased, always reliable method of analyzing data. This analysis, if done “correctly” in their utopia, will always show that there is a deep undercurrent of racism, that we need to “have a conversation about race”, and that we need to increase the budget of the Independent Police Auditor.
    Go ahead and listen to the leftist media’s oh so earnest calls for “studies” and “analysis”. Just know that they aren’t interested in the truth. They just want their way.

    • Amazing, the timing of this piece from the “Newsroom” and an announcement from “anonymous” that today is to be a “Day of Rage”

  5. The San Jose Police Department (what is left of it) is comprised of almost every ethnicity possible, and this diversity represents the majority of the officers. There are also lots of females, gay officers, and lesbian officers. The president of the POA is openly gay. The police chief and the assistant chief are Hispanic. One of the deputy chiefs is Vietnamese. There is no secret agenda or conspiracy targeting minorities, as the department is largely comprised of minority officers. Unfortunately, the press, including SJI, is trying to make fire where there is no smoke, and sensationalizing a problem that doesn’t even exist at SJPD. Officers honorably serve this city, and sensationalized articles like just further serve to unfairly demoralize and demonize these officers.

  6. So, whenever (and by whomever) analyses the data… If it’s percieved as improper- what’s the solution? Stop more (insert race here)? Ignore crime by (insert race here)?

    SJI should be more concerned about the analyses that have already occurred; showing that crime is up, number of Officers down (and getting worse) AND arrests are down. SJPD investigative units are in the same state as Jahi McMath… Yet Josh and his boys engage in race baiting.

  7. What everyone above said. These racial witchhunts, including the race-baiters Jackson and Sharpton getting Silicon Valley tech companies to issue their racial/ gender/ etc breakdown, all make me sick. Get a Fkin life.

    • > race-baiters Jackson and Sharpton getting Silicon Valley tech companies to issue their racial/ gender/ etc breakdown, all make me sick.

      Jesse (“hymie town”) Jackson and Al (“Tawana Brawley”) Sharpton are clowns.

      The ONLY reason they have any public notice is that the two or three hundred gatekeepers to the American mass media never tire of shoving their ugly mugs and malignant, divisive messages in the faces of the American people.

      Jackson and Sharpton are useful for controlling white people because of the latter’s connectedness with American history and fundamental culture of tolerance and fairness (constantly denied and mocked by the media).

      Jackson and Sharpton have made a living off of the single issue of “too many white people”:

      “Too many white people here; too many white people there; too many white people everywhere”.

      Both Jackson and Sharpton have tried the same technique with Jews, but it didn’t work.

      And, there is no way that “too many Asians” is going to work in the land of the Japanese internment.

      The Silicon Valley companies that Jackson is targeting purportedly have an “over-representation” of whites and Asians.

      “Whites” (even when their diversity is denied or suppressed) are a minority in California. Likewise, for “Asians”.

      The only people who give a crap about what Jackson and Sharpton think are the nostalgic “civil rights re-enactors” who are mad they missed the chance in the 1960’s to be “anti-racism” heroes. They want to “roll back the clock”.

      “The times, they are a changin'”.

  8. It will never ever matter what the “race data” shows. The blacks and Hispanics will always twist it to fit their agenda. As far as the SJPD being diverse, it is. Maybe not to the point that some people would like, but diverse enough. Funny thing is, if a black officer is dealing with a black suspect or citizen, the black officer is just “working for the man”. Hispanic officers are “sell outs”. These people will never be happy with anything that makes sense. Just their nonsense makes them happy.

  9. Interesting that the Independent Police Auditor, headed by a minority woman and former judge, has not raised a flag about unfair treatment. Maybe because such evidence is absent. Useful to keep in mind that “correlation does not equal causality” (Statistics 101).

    Interesting to review http://www.cypress.com/?rID=34973 . Rogers comments still ring true today.

  10. There’s so much bacon in these comments that I thought I was at a POA BBQ.

    • When you want expert information on police related matters head to the “BBQ” when you the typical BS and self-affirmations provided by your masters on the 18th Floor…. talk to yourself while looking in a mirror.

  11. In order to truly understand the correlations between race and criminalism, it is important to look well beyond the statistics that might be available through demographic data such as that which SJPD collects. For instance, there are mountains of studies and data which show that there are strong correlations between criminalism and low income (to include public assistance), between criminalism and lack of education, between lack of education (especially dropping out of school) and lower economic status, between single-parent upbringing and lower economic status as well as criminalism, and that certain types of criminalism can be generational in nature. It is also of extreme importance to understand that looking at arrest and conviction statistics only tell part of the story. It is very easy for people to look only at those statistics and a search that, because certain demographic groups are disproportionately represented in arrests and convictions, that the criminal justice system is stacked against those certain groups. If one looks further though, and examines the victim identification data – which is also available – one will also see a strong correlation between the statistics about the race of the suspect as identified by the victim and arrest and conviction statistics. Granted they are not perfect, but one could not reasonably expect them to be perfect.

    Moving along, various studies have shown that African Americans are disproportionately represented in single-parent upbringing, high school dropout rates, and generational criminalism. Other studies have shown that’s there is a strong correlation between Hispanics, lack of education, and generational criminal-ism. Part of the reason for this has to do with geography and the fact that it is comparatively easy for Hispanics to cross the border illegally. Those from Mexico, especially, tend to be poorly educated and have few marketable job skills or are capable of, primarily lower skilled labor. That coupled with the fact that their illegal status by default makes them criminals and forces them into a position where obtaining legitimate regular work is virtually impossible virtually guarantees that they remain in a lower economic status. This results in higher rates of poverty within the Hispanic community than among Asians or Caucasians.

    Unfortunately, acknowledging these kinds of studies addressing the facts of the situation is neither comfortable nor, apparently, politically correct. But the reality is that it only makes sense that these demographics will exhibit its higher levels of criminal behavior than other ethnic group because of these various realities.

    As a side note, it is no less important to recognize that illegal immigrants artificially depress wages at the lower end of the pay spectrum and that they take work from citizens at the lower end of economic scale who, themselves need jobs in low-skilled work as a means of entering the job market and learning new job skills.