LA County sher­iff sus­pends team over Latino traf­fic stops

Imperial Valley Press - - LOCAL & REGION -

The Los An­ge­les County Sher­iff’s Depart­ment has sus­pended a unit that stopped thou­sands of in­no­cent Lati­nos on a free­way to search for drugs.

A spokes­woman tells the Los An­ge­les Times Fri­day that the Do­mes­tic High­way En­force­ment Team was sus­pended last month and its deputies re­as­signed while op­er­a­tions are un­der re­view.

Newly elected Sher­iff Alex Vil­lanueva says he sup­ports the move.

The county’s in­spec­tor gen­eral is in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether the pro­gram racially pro­filed drivers. He’s al­ready told the Civil­ian Over­sight Com­mis­sion that drivers’ con­sti­tu­tional rights were vi­o­lated.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan af­ter a Times re­port that said Lati­nos com­prised 69 per­cent of drivers stopped on In­ter­state 5 un­der the pro­gram be­tween 2012 and 2017. The pa­per also said Latino drivers had their cars searched at a far higher rate than other racial groups.

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