Data project website provides insight to racial equity in California

An online tracking tool is lending insight into racial equity in California through interactive, customizable breakdowns on issues ranging from education to crime.

Race Counts, launched by the Advancement Project California in 2017, measures racial disparities through data points on seven key areas, including democracy, economic opportunity, crime, access to healthcare, quality of life, education, and housing, at both the city and county level in California.

A look at the data from communities where there are CSU campuses provides an interesting story. It also highlights the importance of CFA’s co-sponsoring of SB 1421, a law passed last year that makes public the findings of police investigations and discipline enacted in cases of police ‘deadly and serious uses of force,’ and AB 392, a bill that would update police ‘use of deadly force’ policy.

For example, In Sacramento, there are 723 law enforcement personnel, equating to a rate of 3.24 white police officers per 1,000 white Sacramento residents, compared to 0.47 Black police officers per 1,000 Black Sacramento residents. In Sacramento County during a five-year span, there was a ratio of .15 fatalities by police per 100,000 white residents, versus a ratio of .71 fatalities by police per 100,000 Black residents.

In Fullerton, a city that is 35% Latinx, 36% white, 24% Asian Pacific Islander, and 2% Black, 66% of law enforcement personnel are white. In Orange County, fatalities by police per 100,000 people amounted to a ratio of 0.23 for white residents and 4.25 for Black residents. The ratio of Latinx fatalities by police during a five-year span was .29 per 100,000 Latinx residents. There was no data available regarding police fatalities of API residents.

AB 392, in addition to ensuring that police can use deadly force only when there are no alternatives, would update the standard used to determine whether officers’ criminal negligence makes them liable for taking someone’s life.

California police kill people at a rate 37% higher than the national average per capita. In 2017, California police killed 172 people – more than two-thirds of whom were people of color.

Click here to learn more about AB 392, the California Act to Save Lives.