The Los Angeles Police Commission updated its policy on so-called "pretextual stops" Tuesday to discipline officers -- beginning with additional training -- if they don't articulate in the moment why a traffic or other minor violation escalates into a criminal investigation.
The Los Angeles Police Department defines a pretextual stop as one in which officers conducting a minor traffic or code violation escalate it into an investigation of a more serious crime unrelated to the initial violation, Fox 11 reports.
According to the Office of the Inspector General, there were "pretty substantial racial disparities" in stops, many of which were pretextual stops, conducted by the department in 2019, and "a fairly small number of them yielded evidence of serious crimes or ended up resulting in any kind of arrests."
Under the updated policy, officers making a pretextual stop will have to articulate on their body-worn video cameras the reason for the change.
The policy also states that pretextual stops can only happen if officers "are acting upon articulable information" and not a "mere hunch or on generalized characteristics," including race.
Failure to articulate the information that prompted the officer to make a pretext stop will result in "progressive discipline beginning with counseling and retraining." The policy adds that discipline will escalate as more violations of the policy are made.