LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti ordered an elite unit of the Los Angeles Police Department to cut down on the number of vehicle stops it conducts after a published report found officers pulled over a disproportionate number of African Americans.

In a letter addressed to Garcetti, LAPD Chief Michel Moore and the Police commission, activists from several groups said the work of the Metropolitan Division has “led to the incarceration and harassment of African American and Latino people, exacerbating racial and wealth disparities in the city of Los Angeles.”

A Los Angeles Times investigation determined that Metro Division officers stop black drivers at a rate more than five times their share of the population.

“I have directed the chief of police to prioritize other elements of our comprehensive crime reduction strategy, beyond vehicle stops, until we learn more, so that we can accelerate the reduction in vehicle stops that has been achieved since they peaked a couple of years ago,” Garcetti said in the statement. “We have made our streets safer with fewer vehicle stops than in recent years, and we have to keep prioritizing what works to both stop crime and strengthen trust.”

The Los Angeles Police Protective League, the union representing the LAPD’s rank and file officers, has called the article “flawed, skewed, and nonsensical.”

Garcetti said last month that the Office of the Inspector General will conduct an audit of the unit.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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