The Office of Independent Review (OIR), in the state of California, is looking into an almost 70 percent rise in fatal officer-involved shootings in Los Angeles County.
Los Angeles County law enforcement officers fatally killed at least 54 people in 2011, representing a dramatic jump of 70 percent over the number of cases reported in 2010, according to a report issued by the Los Angeles Times on Sunday.
Interestingly, the increase in police killings came at a time when the number of homicide cases in the region dropped to a historic low.
In 2011, about 610 people were killed in the county, meaning one in every ten was killed by law enforcement officers.
Police critics say the killings are a result of racial profiling, which is running rampant in law enforcement.
“That very same racial profiling has led to a situation where there’s 2.4 million people in prison, most of whom are blacks and Latinos,” said Clyde Young, a social justice advocate.
Young also criticized the "stop and frisk" activity which mostly targets minorities and almost never results in arrests, adding that “one year 684,000 people, roughly, are stopped and frisked: 80 percent of them are black or Latino; 90 percent of them have committed no crime.”
In January, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit, accusing Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials of failing to eliminate deputy brutality inside the county's jails.
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