Report 2021-105 Recommendation 26 Responses
Report 2021-105: Law Enforcement Departments Have Not Adequately Guarded Against Biased Conduct (Release Date: April 2022)
Recommendation #26 To: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
To ensure that it adequately investigates possible biased conduct and implements effective corrective actions, Los Angeles Sheriff should ensure it has implemented
policies or procedures by January 2023 that require that the investigations apply a definition of bias that incorporates the following: biased conduct can include conduct
resulting from implicit as well as explicit biases; conduct is biased if a reasonable person would conclude so using the facts at hand; an officer need not admit biased or prejudiced intent for conduct to reasonably appear biased; and biased conduct may occur in an encounter with the public, with other officers, or online, such as
conduct on social media.
Annual Follow-Up Agency Response From October 2023
The Department Manual of Policy and Procedure has updated the Bias-Free Policing policy as of March 30, 2023 to include definitions of Racial or Identity Profiling, Biased-Based Policing, Implicit Bias, Bias by Proxy, and Stop. In addition the policy outlines specifically that "Department members shall not use actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, disability, sexual orientation, or age as a factor, to any extent or degree, in establishing reasonable suspicion or probable cause, except as part of actual and reliable information and description of a specific suspect or suspects in any criminal investigation."
- Completion Date: March 2023
California State Auditor's Assessment of Annual Follow-Up Status: Partially Implemented
The department's bias-free policing policy includes definitions of racial or identity profiling, bias-based policing, and implicit bias. However, it does not require investigators to apply a definition of bias that includes that conduct is biased if a reasonable person would conclude so using the facts at hand; an officer need not admit biased or prejudiced intent for conduct to reasonably appear biased; and biased conduct may occur in an encounter with the public, with other officers, or online, such as conduct on social media.
- Auditee did not address all aspects of the recommendation
1-Year Agency Response
The Department Manual of Policy and Procedure has updated the Bias-Free Policing policy in March 2023 to include definitions of Racial or Identity Profiling, Biased-Based Policing, Implicit Bias, and Bias by Proxy. The policy also includes requirements for Department members to attend mandated training.
- Completion Date: March 2023
- Response Date: May 2023
California State Auditor's Assessment of 1-Year Status: Pending
The department has not yet provided the updated policy to substantiate its implementation of this recommendation.
- Auditee did not substantiate its claim of full implementation
6-Month Agency Response
There is no change to the status of this recommendation from the previous response.
- Estimated Completion Date: Unknown
- Response Date: October 2022
California State Auditor's Assessment of 6-Month Status: Pending
60-Day Agency Response
The Department does recognize the value of examining Bias behavior in policing. However, to date, a clear and exhaustive definition of actions or behavior considered to be bias have not been identified by the state or any other governmental entity. Therefore, independently modifying or establishing realistic policies would be difficult at best at this time.
- Estimated Completion Date: TBD
- Response Date: June 2022
California State Auditor's Assessment of 60-Day Status: Pending
Los Angeles Sheriff raises the same objection to this recommendation as it did to our recommendation 24. We disagree that the present lack of a statewide definition of bias prevents it from improving its investigations into biased conduct consistent with our recommendations. We summarize the reasons for our disagreement in our assessment of Los Angeles Sheriff's response to recommendation 24, and describe them more fully in the text of the report.
Agency responses received are posted verbatim.