Policing Culver City – UCLA Study Uses CCPD Data to Reflect Reality

The ongoing issues between the community and the Culver City Police Department have unfortunately given rise to a wave of propaganda on social media, featuring both misinformation and facts used in a manipulative and misleading way. The need for clear and accurate information to be available to the voting public is essential, so that the community conversation can be based on facts, and not on fear tactics. 

Culver City resident and Director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernandez, presented some of her organization’s data on policing in Culver City at a community meeting on policing on August 20, 2020. These statistics are drawn from departmental data, and speak to the challenges the city is facing.  

In the UCLA study, it is noted that the two most common CCPD arrests charges were for Petty Theft ( 19%) and Driving with a Suspended License           (15%.) Arrests for Burglary accounted for 4%, and Robbery for 3%. Misdemeanors accounted for 70% of all arrests. 

The false narrative on social media claiming that violent crime is a major issue for public safety in Culver City is not supported by the department’s own data. 

From the UCLA Study “Between January 1, 2016 and July 15, 2018, the Culver City Police Department (CCPD) reported making 5,100 arrests. This report documents the significant racial disparities among those arrests. Overall, African Americans and Latinos/as comprised 72% of the people arrested by CCPD, suggesting clear racial disparities in CCPD arrest patterns in a city where the local population is but 32% African American and Latino/a. But identifying racial disparities in CCPD arrest patterns requires looking both within and beyond the local Culver City population. Among Culver City residents, African Americans comprise 8% of the local population but 21% of CCPD arrests. Similarly, Latina/os comprise 23% of the local population but 39% of all arrests among Culver City residents. However, a staggering 86% of the people arrested by CCPD do not live in Culver City. Another 5% of the people arrested by CCPD are “transient” or “homeless.” In sum, more than 90% of the people arrested by CCPD are not housed Culver City residents. When compared to the Los Angeles County population, African Americans are disproportionately arrested by CCPD.

The majority of CCPD arrests are for one or more misdemeanor charges, suggesting that CCPD spends substantial time arresting people, disproportionately Black people and non-residents, on minor charges. Petty theft and driving with an invalid or suspended license are the two most-common charges among all CCPD arrests, comprising just over one-third of all arrest charges. With African Americans comprising 44% of all persons arrested on a theft or invalid/suspended license charge, these two charges are driving factors in the racial disparities found in CCPD arrest data.

In response to a California Public Records Act request submitted by Professor Kelly Lytle Hernández, CCPD provided the MDH data team datasets including more than 20 categories of information on all arrests made by CCPD between January 1, 2016 to July 15, 2018. For this report, we utilize the following categories of information: Race, Gender, City of Home Residence, Home Zip Code, Charge Level (Misdemeanor/Felony), and Charge Code. When any single arrest includes both a misdemeanor and felony charge, the felony charge takes precedent in calculating the charge level for that given arrest. Most-frequent charges are derived from the sum of all charges in the datasets, including single arrests with multiple charges. The most-frequent charge categories include the following charge codes: Theft (PC 484, 666, 537, and 485); Driving on Suspended License or Without a Valid License (VC 14601.1, 14601.2, and 12500); Drug Possession (HS 11377, 11350, 11550, and 11375(B); Warrants include both CCPD and Outside CCPD Warrants (all non-specific); Possession of Paraphernalia (HS 11364); DUI (VC 23152, 23153, and 23550); Burglary (PC 459 and 460); Fraud/Identity Theft (PC 470, 472, 475, 476, 503, 506, 529, and 530.5); Robbery (PC 211 and 212.5); Grand Theft (PC 487).”

Editor’s Note: This information was presented at the last Community Safety Meeting on August 20, 2020, by Dr. Kelly Lytle Hernandez of UCLA. The meeting tonight, September 15, 2020 at 6 pm will be on Webex, and you must register to attend. For detailed instructions on how to participate, go to /culvercitycrossroads.com/2020/09/14/gpa-to-meet-with-chiefs-advisory-panel-public-safety-review/

Judith Martin-Straw



The Actors' Gang

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