Following accusations of officers falsifying data, the Los Angeles Police Department Friday evening placed a moratorium on the use of the CalGang System, a statewide database used by law enforcement for sharing intelligence regarding potential gang members.
“Based on recent audits and ongoing complaint investigations, the accuracy of the database has been called into question,” the department said in a statement released Friday evening.
“To strengthen community trust and avoid any adverse impact on individuals, particularly in communities of color, the department will no longer use this resource.”
Officers have been accused of falsifying data collected during traffic stops and wrongly labeling some motorists as gang members.
The LAPD was investigating its alleged misuse of CalGang, after it was announced in January that a teenager was entered into the system when he had no gang affiliations.
Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced in February his office would audit the department’s records and policies on the use of the database.
“Right now, LAPD’s (CalGang) inputs are under the microscope, and we all have a stake in making sure that we all get this right,” Becerra said in February.
“We do not yet have a clear or full picture of what occurred, but we know enough to know that we must act. Any falsification of police records and abuse of the CalGang database is unacceptable. If Californians are falsely included in the database, that could potentially subject them to unwarranted scrutiny.”
The CalGang system was overseen by individual police departments until the Legislature passed a bill in 2017 giving the Attorney General’s Office authority over it.
Becerra said the Department of Justice issued proposed regulations in December to require officers to document their reasoning for entering someone into the CalGang database to ensure reasonable suspicion exists that someone may be affiliated with a gang. The regulations also require departments to report any misuse of CalGang within five days.
Becerra said it is unknown how many people have been entered into CalGang by LAPD, but said the department is the largest contributor to the database. Statewide, there are about 80,000 people entered.
The database will be accessible only to the CalGang System administrator to remove entries that were erroneously entered in the database.
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