AG Bonta Releases Critical Race Data for Policymakers and Law Enforcement

By McKenzie Jackson | California Black Media

(CBM) – One hundred and ten African Americans have died or suffered serious bodily injury in encounters with law enforcement officers in the Golden State over the past year.

Black people accounted for 16.7% of civilians killed or seriously injured in incidents involving the discharge of a firearm or the use of force by police in 2021. Of the 660 civilians killed or injured, 50.6% were Hispanic. and 25.5% were white.

The report, however, does not say how many of the 149 people who died in the 628 incidents were black or of any other race.

The statistics were taken from the Use of Force Incident Report released by the California Department of Justice (DOJ) late last month.

According to an Aug. 25 press release from California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“Good data,” Bonta said, “is key to good public policy.” He urged people to read the documents.

“Accurate statistics and the data contained in annual crime reports are a critical component in calibrating our response, ensuring policymakers and law enforcement are able to make informed decisions,” Bonta said.

Other reports released by the DOJ include California Homicide, California Crime, and California Juvenile Justice.

The quartet of documents is available online and offers an analytical breakdown of criminal activity and related statistics such as the number of homicides reported last year, the increase in violent crimes in the state and the specificity of these crimes, a breakdown by age, race, gender of crime victims and offenders, and the various types of force used by law enforcement in confrontations when an individual has died or been seriously injured .

Information found in the Use of Force report reveals that the types of force used by law enforcement officers against the 660 people included blunt impact weapons, chemical aerosols, firearms, impact projectiles, vehicles, electronic control devices and the use of their hands, feet, fists. or other parts of the body.

According to the DOJ, officers firing a gun hit 233 people and missed 58 others. They used K-9 dogs on 77 people and controlled holds or takedowns on 121 others. While officers perceived that 383 civilians were armed during the incidents, 341 of them, or 89%, were confirmed to be carrying weapons.

1,462 officers allegedly fired a firearm or used excessive force in incidents resulting in death or serious injury. Fifty-eight of the officers were black.

The Crime in California report provides an overview of the criminal justice system in California. He revealed that the violent crime rate had increased by 6.7%, from 437 crimes per 100,000 population to 466.2 last year. The property crime rate increased by 3% and the homicide rate jumped by 9.1%, while the rape incidence rate increased by 8.6%. The motor vehicle theft rate increased by 8.2%. The state’s burglary and arson rates have plummeted.

There were 153,546 violent crimes in the state in 2021. All data is based on the number of known victims and incidents.

Bonta said crime rates remain below historic highs, but property and violent crimes continue to have dire effects on California communities.

“Armed violence, in particular, remains a constant and growing threat. In fact, in 2021, nearly three-quarters of all homicides in California involved a firearm,” he said. “As we face these ongoing challenges, we must be held to account and appropriate consequences for those who break the law.”

The total number of reported civil complaints against peace officers rose from 16,547 in 2020 to 28,617 last year. The number of complaints from civilians accusing officers of crimes – 683 – was the lowest since 1983.

According to the Homicide Crime in California report, 2,361 homicides were reported in 2021. Of the homicides where the race or ethnicity of the victim was identified, 29.5% or 690 were black, just behind the 47, 1% or 1,102 Hispanic victims. The largest segment of black victims – 38.4% or 264 – were between the ages of 18 and 29. Three hundred and twenty-five of the black victims were killed on a street or sidewalk. None were killed on school grounds.

Blacks make up 5.5% of California’s total population.

The Juvenile Justice in California report details the 19,355 arrests of minors in California reported by law enforcement last year.

Arrests for felony accounted for 47.2% or 9,132 of arrests, with black minors accounting for 60.3%. Black minors were arrested for 49.0% of violent crimes.

More than 70% of all juveniles, including 77.3% of arrested black juveniles, were referred to probation services by law enforcement.

Bonta said the DOJ uses every tool at its disposal to prevent violence and fight crime.

“Whether it’s successfully obtaining federal certification of our data systems or removing weapons from the hands of dangerous individuals,” he said, “my office remains committed to doing its part to supporting the safety and security of all Californians.”

About Michael C. Lovelace

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