Police race bias claim unfounded

“An officer pulls over a car lacking a light to illuminate the license plate learns the driver is on probation and searches the vehicle. The black man driving the 1976 Chevrolet Nova contends his race and the car were the reasons police stopped him – and files a complaint with the Palo Alto Police Department.

So says Palo Alto’s independent auditor

A newly released report by the police department’s independent auditor found that the driver’s assertions were unwarranted. The incident was one of a couple of cases auditor Mike Gennaco of Los Angeles, a former federal prosecutor, reviewed as part of his job to review how the department handles misconduct complaints.

Gennaco provides reports to City Council a couple of times a year. His reports do not identify officers or the people who file complaints by name. “The traffic stop appears to be based on a minor, but clear-cut violation of the requirement to have functioning license plate illumination”. states Gennaco.

“The subsequent investigation was performed in courteous and business-like manner by the officer.'” Gennaco said both the patrol officer and a second officer conformed to police department requirements in their search of the car.

The driver was allowed to–depart in the car 16 minutes after being stopped. The auditor assesses for objectivity, thoroughness, and appropriateness the disposition of citizen complaint investigations of misconduct, according to the city website…….”

Daily Post Staff Writer

The Daily Post is unavailable on-line. Additional information can be found in today’s copy of the Daily Post – Monday, April 23, 2012.

Independent Police Auditor Report for 2011