LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Police Department recently addressed sexual abuse and domestic violence reporting in immigrant communities. The LAPD is actively working to counteract fears. According to the LAPD website, immigrants are anxious about reporting crimes, out of fearing personal consequences against them, which include getting deported if they are undocumented.
Charlie Beck, the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, made it clear that Special Order 40 would remain intact. This order was enacted in 1979 to prevent LAPD officers from questioning people just to poke around their immigration status.
“Officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person. Officers shall not arrest nor book persons for violation of title 8, section 1325 of the United States Immigration code (Illegal Entry),” Order 40 states.
The city of Los Angeles has tried to reach out to immigrant communities to mitigate anxieties, but data shows that reporting is noticeably down. As of April 2017, sexual assault reporting in the Hispanic community was down by 23.5 percent, as opposed to a citywide 13.7 percent. Domestic violence report was also down in Hispanic communities, with an 8.1 percent drop as opposed to a citywide 4.3 percent.
“As of December, 2017, the reporting gap between the Hispanic community and citywide for sexual assaults went from nearly 10 percent to under 4 percent, and the reporting gap for Domestic Violence went from 3.8 percent to a difference of only 0.4 percent,” the LAPD indicated in a statement.