Police brutality comes in many forms in San Diego, including excessive force during traffic stops. San Diego Police Department costs have increased for settlements involved in illegal traffic stops. Traffic stops sometimes originate from racial profiling and have impacted the number of arrests of undocumented persons and/or persons of color in San Diego California. Border patrol agents have requested assistance from state and local police regarding illegal immigrants and even though the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA) has been put in effect to deter racially motivated traffic stops, aggravated police encounters are occurring.
Standard traffic stop police action.
If you are involved in a traffic stop in San Diego, proper actions by police officers should include:
- Directing you to a safe place to stop;
- Approaching you, usually on the passenger side of the vehicle because it gives officer a better view of the car interior and driver’s hands;
- Asking for driver’s license, insurance and car registration, and hopefully tell you why you were pulled over;
- Running information through the traffic system database to make sure it is valid;
- Returning to your vehicle to give back credentials, and a citation or a warning of the offense they pulled you over for and send you on your way;
- Do not leave your vehicle unless an officer instructs you to do so;
- If you are pulled over at night, put on interior light, and keep hands on wheel so officer can see where they are;
- Make sure identification information is easily accessible;
- Do not act inappropriately as to cause suspicion;
- Answer questions politely and within reason.
The San Diego Police Department has policies against excessive force and bias-based policing techniques. Training is required to make sure officers do not utilize any form of bias during community policing. As the number of incidents has increased, there are some law enforcement officers who acknowledge unconscious bias as a factor and are involved in enhanced training to address that.
Make a complaint.
A citizen who believes they have been a victim of police misconduct including excessive force, or bias-based profiling resulting in a traffic stop may make a complaint by:
1) calling the San Diego Police Department Communications Division at (619) 531-2000. A supervisor will be dispatched to contact the reporting citizen as soon as possible;
2) coming in to any police facility;
3) calling or writing to the Chief of Police 1401 Broadway, MS 700, San Diego, CA 92101 or emailing [email protected];
4) calling or writing to the Internal Affairs Unit, 1401 Broadway, MS 709, San Diego CA 92101, (619) 531-2801; or
5) contacting the Office of the Mayor, City of San Diego, 202 C St., San Diego CA 92101; or reaching out to the Community Review Board on Police Practices, 202 C Street, MS 9A, San Diego CA 92101, (619) 236-6296, [email protected].
Hire an attorney.
Violations of civil rights through police misconduct can be addressed by legal settlements or validated department complaints. Call an experienced attorney at Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates to discuss the particulars of your claim against the San Diego Police Department.
JEFFREY E. ESTES & ASSOCIATES, A PROFESSIONAL LAW CORPORATION
501 West Broadway, Suite 1650,
San Diego, CA 92101