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Internal Affairs investigation Comes After Viral Traffic Stop Of Black Man 


Nicholas Hoskins, a Black man from San Diego, experienced a range of emotions when a police officer shattered his passenger-side window last month. This incident marked the fourth time he had been stopped by police in a year. Hoskins feels demeaned and emasculated by these encounters, believing they are racially motivated. Data from the San Diego Police Department supports his perception, showing significant racial disparities in police stops. Although Black people make up only 6% of San Diego's population, they account for 22.5% of police stops.


NBC 7 Investigates analyzed 666,406 police stops over five years, revealing that Hispanic people accounted for 35% of stops, while white people, who make up 54.5% of the city's population, accounted for 46% of stops. Despite these disparities, police maintain that several factors, including patrol locations, stop policies, and biases, contribute to the racial gap.


San Diego Police Captain Jeffrey Jordon acknowledges the disparities but emphasizes that they are influenced by complex factors, including poverty and crime rates. He points out that while Black people make up a small percentage of the population, they represent a higher percentage of crime victims and suspects.


Hoskins has had multiple encounters with police since his release from prison in 2023, where he spent eight years after being wrongfully convicted of conspiracy to commit murder. His conviction was overturned by the California Supreme Court due to a lack of evidence. Despite his release, Hoskins continues to feel targeted by police. During a recent stop, an officer smashed his car window when he refused to exit his vehicle. Hoskins was handcuffed, taken to the police station, and later released with a ticket for resisting arrest.


"It's kind of demeaning. Emasculating. Sometimes I feel like I'm not a man," Hoskins said. "I get irritated when I think about it a lot. Because y'all just violate me and do whatever you guys want."


San Diego Police Department's data indicates that Black and Hispanic people are more likely to be searched during stops than white people, even though illegal items are found at similar rates across all races. Captain Jordon argues that most searches are driven by policies and circumstances beyond officers' control.


Hoskins plans to sue the police department, seeking accountability for the repeated stops and searches he has endured. The San Diego Police Department has reduced the number of police stops in recent years to address racial disparities, but the issue remains a contentious topic. Various avenues exist for reporting police misconduct, including filing complaints with internal affairs and independent oversight bodies.


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