The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department may face a federal civil rights probe that will look into claims that Antelope Valley deputies harassed black residents living in government-subsidized housing.

Assistant Atty. Gen. Thomas E. Perez said investigators would examine data to determine whether minorities accounted for a disproportionate share of misdemeanor and obstruction arrests. Arrests solely related to obstruction charges are seen as potential indicators of racial bias.

A county monitor last year issued a report showing that 64% of obstruction-related arrests in Lancaster involved blacks, while only 42% of all arrests involved blacks, reports the Los Angeles Times.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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