San Francisco, CA. Cited in Plain Sight: How California Polices Being Black, Brown and Unhoused in Public!

Posted on October 1, 2020 by Jonathan

The release of our new report revealed thousands of non-traffic infractions are disproportionately enforced on Black, Latinx and unhoused Californians each year, primarily for behavior that amounts to simply existing in public: sitting, sleeping, and loitering (standing). Here are resources from the event: 


Data from this report show deep racial disparities in the enforcement, including: 

  • Black adults in California are up to 9.7 times more likely to receive a citation for local infractions than white adults.
  • The Los Angeles Police Department gave 63% of all citations for “Loitering-Standing” to Black adults.
  • Black adults in San Diego were 4 times more likely to receive non-traffic infractions than white adults.
  • The most common non-traffic infraction citation given by the Long Beach Police Department was for jaywalking (“Walking on Roadway”). Only 11% of adults in Long Beach are Black, but police gave Black adults 36% of all non-traffic infractions issued. 
  • In Hayward, the second-most cited non-traffic infraction between 2017 and 2019 was possession of a small amount of marijuana, and every single person cited for the offense was a person of color.

We will continue fighting to end non-traffic infractions, which has had long lasting and devastating consequences on Black, Latinx, disabled and unhoused communities across the state. 

If you are interested in connecting further on this topic, looking for city or county-specific data on non-traffic infractions, or have questions about the report, please do not hesitate to reach out to Sam Lew at

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