The LAPD will step up scrutiny of racial profiling allegations made against any of its officers after criticism that the previous practice was too lax. Under new rules adopted Tuesday by the Police Commission, two commanding officers will review allegations that a suspect was targeted because of race. In addition, the officer’s prior performance can be considered part of the official investigation. Previously, allegations of racial profiling were reviewed by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Internal Affairs Bureau without any formal protocol. “This represents a significant achievement over what we had,” Police Commissioner John Mack said. Two months ago, the LAPD also rolled out a $5 million program to install dashboard videocameras in 300 cars to monitor police treatment of suspects. Under the federal consent degree implemented after the Rampart corruption scandal, the LAPD was ordered to determine whether its officers engage in racial profiling. After spending millions of dollars on systems to document the race of suspects and reasons for traffic stops, an independent inquiry found the information inconclusive. “We are going to look at this extremely closely,” said Cmdr. James Voge, head of LAPD’s Internal Affairs. “It’s a difficult allegation to prove. You have to prove what was in the officer’s mind – and that’s very difficult to prove.” Despite dozens of complaints from the community, the LAPD has never ruled that an officer engaged in racial profiling, stopping a suspect based solely on race. But civil rights attorneys have argued that the LAPD definition of profiling is too narrow. It does not take into consideration, for example, whether minority and white suspects are treated differently or are more likely to be targeted for criminal conduct. “More thorough investigations are important to make sure that racial profiling is taken seriously,” said Peter Bibring, an attorney for the ACLU of Southern California. But he said the department still fails to aggressively root out the problem. firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3741 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!