On a June 3 teleconference with the Menlo Park Mayor Cecilia Taylor and Police Chief Dave Bertini, a woman called in and asked about how to explain to neighborhood teens about being stopped for no apparent reason by police. Studies show that youth who experience intrusive police stops are at risk of heightened emotional distress.
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of racial disparities in police stops in Menlo Park but we don’t yet have the data to show it. There is no data by race for police stops that do not conclude in a citation or detention.
The City of Menlo Park has an Open Data Portal that provides information about local law enforcement activity. The portal provides statistics for citations, showing disparities by race. Of the citations between 2016 and 2018 that listed the individual’s race (all but 2%) 31% were given to white individuals while 69% were given to non-white individuals (40% for Black and Hispanic individuals alone). In contrast, the population of Menlo Park is exactly the opposite: 70% white and 30% non-white (according to the 2010 census).
If you want to see Menlo Park police track data about police stops by race and neighborhood, please sign this petition. If you sign this petition, Menlo Together will:
- share your name with Menlo Park City Council
- contact you with more opportunities to demand transparent data about police stops, and other opportunities for a more transparent and just city