Audit finds 42 people entered into California gang database are toddlers

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California’s state gang database, CalGang, is under scrutiny after an audit of the database showed that 42 people were entered as gang members who were less than one year old at the time of entry.

What’s more, 28 of these were marked as “admitting to being gang members.”  It’s unclear whether birthdates were entered incorrectly or what reasons led to some of the names being recorded.

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San Diego Assemblywoman Shirley Webster said she was not surprised by the findings of the audit, which also found that parents had not been notified when their children were placed in the database, despite a law requiring them to do so.

“I’ve heard these complaints for years,” Weber told VOSD (Voice of San Diego).  “As most folks know, my own son was threatened to be put on the gang list, and he hadn’t done anything. I hear these things from parents on a regular basis. But I think some of my colleagues were shocked.”

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The database is described on its website as being a “State of California funded, Local Law Enforcement maintained and controlled Criminal Intelligence System that targets specifically Members and Criminal Associates of Criminal Street Gangs.”

An earlier CJR investigation in March found that 85% of those in the database are black or Latino and that children as young as 9 have been entered in as gang members.

The audit also found that CalGang data may have been used by at least three law enforcement agencies as a tool for screening employees, which could be a violation of privacy rights.

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