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LAPD data show blacks, Hispanics stopped more often

Chief: Too early to blame racial profiling

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LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The Los Angeles Police Department released raw data Monday that seem to show African-American and Hispanic drivers and pedestrians are stopped and searched more frequently than whites and Asians.

However, the LAPD's chief said it is premature to conclude that the data indicate racial profiling.

The department is being supervised by the U.S. Justice Department, having entered into a consent decree as a result of a corruption scandal and previous allegations of racial profiling. It released the data as part of its effort to be "more transparent" to the community.

LAPD officers compiled the data over five months, filling out field reports that detailed, in part, the race, age and gender of pedestrians and drivers they stopped. They also noted the reason for each encounter and its outcome.

The raw data show that black and Hispanic drivers were the most frequently searched and were also asked most frequently to step out of their vehicles. Black and Hispanic pedestrians were also searched and patted down more frequently.

LAPD Chief William Bratton said the raw data tell only part of the story, and stressed that it is too early to blame racial profiling.

"When you look at the racial makeup of the city, when you look at the racial makeup of some of our divisions, when you look at the crime factors -- who is the victim? who is the victimizer? -- these are all factors that have to be taken into that," Bratton said.

"The people being stopped -- are they commuters? Are they residents? Are they tourists? Who are they?" he said. "We don't know. And so there are many issues here that have to [be] factored into this, and this is what is going to make the analysis of the information so difficult."

Bratton acknowledged, however, that the data "won't have a calming effect."

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