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Jesse Arregun
City Councilmember, District 4

ACTION CALENDAR
June 17, 2014
(Continued from June 3, 2014)
To:

Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council

From:

Councilmember Jesse Arregun

Subject:

Implementation of Fair and Impartial Policing Policy, General Order B-4

RECOMMENDATION
Adopt a motion:
1. Expressing the City Councils support for proposed General Order B-4, Fair and
Impartial Policing Policy
2. Directing the City Manager to request that the Berkeley Police Department give
final approval to General Order B-4 and implement the policy immediately,
sending a Training and Information Bulletin to all department personnel on the
new policy. While the pedestrian stop data collection may take time to fully
implement, officers should be informed and implement the basic policy of fair and
impartial policing with respect to race, gender, national origin, or sexual
orientation.
BACKGROUND
At their March 26, 2014 meeting, the Police Review Commission (PRC) recommended
that the City Manager adopt proposed General Order B-4, Fair and Impartial Policing.
The policy was the product of over a year of discussion by the Berkeley Police
Department and community stakeholders including the ACLU, NAACP and Coalition for
a Safe Berkeley. The PRC formed a subcommittee to develop a policy, working closely
with the Berkeley Police Department. The policy that resulted from that effort not only
made it clear that the Department explicitly prohibits racial profiling and other biased
policing. It reaffirms the Departments commitment to fair and impartial policing and
clarifies procedures in the limited circumstances in which the department can consider
race, gender and other demographic information of individuals. California Penal Code
Section 13519.4(f) also prohibits racial profiling by law enforcement officers. This
General Order helps to implement that state law. The policy makes clear that with the
exception of limited circumstances and based on reasonable suspicion or probable
cause, discrimination on the basis of a trait or class described in the policy is considered
a serious allegation of misconduct.
The policy also requires the collection of demographic statistical data for vehicle and
pedestrian stops in the City of Berkeley. The collection of this data not only serves as a
th

Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Center Building 2180 Milvia Street, 5 Floor, Berkeley, CA 94704 Tel: (510) 981-7140
Fax: (510) 981-7144 TDD: (510) 981-6903 E-Mail: jarreguin@cityofberkeley.info Web: www.jessearreguin.com

deterrent for racial profiling or other biased policing, but also provides analytical data
with which the Department and city officials can determine whether incidents of profiling
occurred.
As we have seen in New York City, at times law enforcement agencies have used racial
profiling as a law enforcement strategy. The stop and frisk policy implemented in New
York is guided by profiling suspects, and is unconstitutional and discriminatory. Even in
Berkeley which has an excellent and well trained police force, and a city with a long
history of progressive values, racial profiling has occurred throughout our citys history.
At a recent NAACP forum on racial profiling held on May 10, 2014, numerous
individuals told their stories of being stopped, questioned and even arrested for no
legitimate reason. Given the reports of racial profiling happening in law enforcement
agencies throughout the country, and individual cases happening in our own community
it is critical that we move ahead immediately in implementing this important policy to
protect the rights of all of our citizens.
A letter dated April 16, 2014 from Michael Sherman, Chair of the Police Review
Commission to City Manager Christine Daniel, stated the PRCs request that General
Order B-4 be adopted without further delay. Yet to date the General Order has not
been adopted or implemented.
The purpose of this item is to not only seek Council approval of the policy but to direct
the City Manager to implement the policy right away.
FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS
Unknown. Staff time involved in informing department personnel of the new policy,
training officers, and costs associated with implementing the pedestrian data stop
collection, including monitoring and reporting.
CONTACT PERSON
Jesse Arreguin, Councilmember, District 4

981-7140

Attachments:
1. April 16, 2014 letter from PRC Chair to City Manager and Proposed General
Order B-4

Attachment 1