Investigation looks into stops of Latinos on LA-area highway

The Los Angeles County inspector general is investigating whether sheriff's deputies racially profiled drivers when they stopped thousands of innocent Latinos in search of drugs on a major freeway.

The Los Angeles Times reports the investigation began after the newspaper reported that 69 percent of drivers who were stopped between 2012 and 2017 as part of an enforcement operation on Interstate 5 were Latino.

The newspaper reported two-thirds of the Latinos stopped by the Los Angeles County sheriff's Domestic Highway Enforcement Team had their cars searched, a rate far higher than other racial groups.

County Supervisor Hilda Solis said the report "warrants a deeper investigation" and asked the inspector general and a civilian oversight commission to review the enforcement team, made up of four white male deputies.

Officials with the sheriff's department have denied racial profiling and say they stop people based on their driving and other impartial factors.

Dawn Kamber