We evaluated the police in California.

Read the Findings. See the Grade for Each Department.

Overall Grade: F

Police violence

Grade: F  |  28% ?

Less-Lethal Force

Using batons, strangleholds, tasers & other weapons

1,492 Uses of Force  |  70.2 uses every 10k arrests

^  Used More Force per Arrest than 70% of Depts   

Deadly Force

85 Shootings + 46 other deaths or serious injuries

131 Total Incidents  |  6.2 every 10k arrests

^  Used More Deadly Force per Arrest than 78% of Depts   

Police Shootings Where Police Did Not Attempt Non-Lethal Force Before Shooting

84% of Shootings (71/85)


Where Police say they saw a gun but no gun was found

26% of Guns "Perceived" were Never Found (16/61)


People Killed or Seriously Injured

39 Deaths, 68 Serious Injuries

40% were Unarmed  |  33% had a Gun

People Killed or Seriously Injured

Police Violence by race

Black Latinx API Other White

City Population


People Arrested


People Killed or Seriously Injured


Policies Adopted to Limit Use of Force

Requires De-Escalation
Bans Chokeholds / Strangleholds
Duty to Intervene
Requires Warning Before Shooting
Bans Shooting at Moving Vehicles
Requires Comprehensive Reporting
Requires Exhaust Alternatives Before Shooting
Has Use of Force Continuum

Police Accountability

Grade: F  |  15% ?

Total civilian complaints

5,026 Reported  |  4% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Use of Force Complaints

1,703 Reported  |  1% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Complaints of Police Discrimination

951 Reported  |  0% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Alleged Crimes Committed by Police

987 Reported  |  6% Ruled in Favor of Civilians


Policies Making It Harder to Hold Police Accountable

Disqualifies Complaints
Restricts / Delays Interrogations
Gives Officers Unfair Access to Information
Limits Oversight / Discipline
Requires City Pay for Misconduct
Erases Misconduct Records

Approach to Policing

Grade: C-  |  70% ?

Arrests for Low Level Offenses

68,020 Misdemeanor Arrests  |  17.1 per 1k residents

^  Higher Misdemeanor Arrest Rate than 38% of Depts   

Percent of Total Arrests in 2016

All Misdemeanors ( 64% )

Drug Possession ( 6% )

Violent Crime ( 12% )

Homicides Unsolved

1,367 Homicides from 2013-17  |  284 Unsolved

^  Solved Fewer Homicides than 47% of Depts   

Percent of Homicides Unsolved After 5 Months by Race

Homicides of Black Victims Unsolved ( 55% )

Homicides of Latinx Victims Unsolved ( 47% )

Homicides of White Victims Unsolved ( 27% )

2016-2017 California
Police Department Grades

About This Scorecard

This is the first statewide Police Scorecard in the United States. It was built using data from California’s OpenJustice database, public records requests, national databases and media reports.

methodology Source Data


Use this Scorecard to identify issues within police departments that require the most urgent interventions and hold officials accountable for implementing solutions. For example, cities with higher rates of misdemeanor arrests could benefit most from solutions that create alternatives to policing and arrest for these offenses. In cities where police make fewer arrests overall but use more force when making arrests, communities could benefit significantly from policies designed to limit police use force. And cities where complaints of police misconduct are rarely ruled in favor of civilians could benefit from creating an oversight structure to independently investigate these complaints.


Here’s how to start pushing for change:


  • Find your California State Senator using the Campaign Zero Advocacy Tool and urge them to support Assembly Bill 392, which would limit deadly force to be legally authorized only when necessary, a change that can reduce police shootings statewide.
    Campaign Zero Advocacy Tool


If you have feedback, questions about the project, or need support with an advocacy campaign, contact us directly at