San Francisco police database reported all arrested Asians as ‘Chinese’

By Stephen C. Webster
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 15:54 EDT
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Two San Francisco police officers stand watch during a Chinese New Year celebration. Photo: Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock.com.
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San Francisco police said recently that the California Department of Justice has been publishing inaccurate crime statistics for years due to a 40-year-old computer system at the department that placed all arrestees in just one of four categories: white, black, Chinese or other.

Police Chief Greg Suhr admitted the database’s deficiency during a recent meeting of the San Francisco Police Commission, according to Bay Citizen reporter Shoshana Walter.

The department has reportedly corrected the problem and is now collecting more detailed information on ethnicity.

The admission comes a month after the Citizen learned that the department was inflating white arrest statistics by lumping Latinos in with them, going as far back as 1999.

Community leaders told the paper that inaccurate crime reporting statistics likely resulted in police resources being misappropriated.

Photo: Karin Hildebrand Lau / Shutterstock.com.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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