LASD Confirms Open Investigation Into Alleged Racial Profiling by Transit Deputy

Photo by Sarah Bennett

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) confirmed Friday that a unit-level investigation has been opened against the Transit Services Bureau deputy accused of, among other things, racial bias towards Long Beach Latinos.

The allegations against “Deputy X” were outlined in a report compiled by the Los Angeles chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. Released earlier this week and supported by a consortium of Long Beach community groups, the report says that over a several year period the deputy would remain in his patrol vehicle near transit stations in his jurisdiction and target Hispanic drivers for minor infractions and then illegally impound their cars. Following complaints from Long Beach citizens, the LASD transferred the deputy earlier this year. 

“I can assure you that in regard to this report by the National Lawyers Guild, an investigation was immediately opened following the meetings between concerned citizens and LASD,” said Karl Schow, Captian of the Transit Services Bureau’s South Division. “I met with the investigator this last Monday and I want to emphasize to Long Beach that this situation was not neglected or overlooked.”

Schow’s appointment as Captian in June of this year was part of a large change in command within the southern division of the Transit Services Bureau, which oversees the Long Beach portion of the Blue Line. After having been informed of the situation involving Deputy X, Schow held multiple meetings to address the situation, including meetings with Roosevelt Elementary School Principal Chris Lund as well as a group of mothers who made the initial complaints.

“This isn’t going to be instantaneously solved,” Schow said. “These things take time because we want to be thorough–not to mention the confidentiality portion of such investigations… Unfortunately, some people come to meetings and some don’t–and all we can do is our best to let the public know we are looking into this matter. And I want Long Beach to know: I am taking this very seriously and assure them that not only will it get done, but that I am deeply looking forward to strengthening our relationship.”

Schow said he is unable to specify a time as to when the investigation will be completed but assures that the public will be notified when it is. Because it involves personnel issues, Schow was unable to confirm where the deputy was transferred or whether or not he is still involved in transit services.

Read the full National Lawyers Guild report obtained by the Long Beach Post below.

A Report on Racial Profiling, Pretextual Stops, And Other Violations of Law within the Los Angeles County S…

Read more:

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 19 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.