Compass Lexecon Conducts Pro Bono Analysis of Racial Disparities in Non-Traffic Infractions

Compass Lexecon provided pro bono assistance to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area (LCCRSF) with its report “Cited for Being in Plain Sight: How California Polices Being Black, Brown, and Unhoused in Public.” The report evaluated disparities in the enforcement of non-traffic infractions (such as loitering, jaywalking, and drinking- or smoking-related citations) by a wide range of California law enforcement agencies, and found large disparities in the enforcement of such infractions on Black, Latinx, and unhoused individuals.

To assist with LCCRSF’s evaluation, a team from Compass’s Oakland office, led by Bret Dickey and Sachith Reddy, analyzed a database collected by the State of California under the Racial Identity and Profiling Act (RIPA). The database contained information on nearly 6 million stops by the 15 largest law enforcement agencies in California, during 2018 and 2019. After controlling for the demographic makeup of each locality, Compass found that Black individuals were as much as 9.7 times as likely as white individuals, and Latinx individuals were as much as 5.8 times as likely as white individuals, to be cited for a non-traffic infraction. Compass Lexecon’s analysis was an important foundation for LCCR’s recommendations for reforming enforcement to address these disparities.

The full LCCR report can be found here: