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Report Says Chicago Cops Pull Over More Minorities

By Sam Bakken in News on Jun 18, 2005 3:01AM

6_2005_police.jpgAt a press conference today, Police Superintendent Philip J. Cline released a report saying that of 244,309 traffic stops made by Chicago police in 2004, 176,500 of the individuals pulled over were minorities compared to 67,809 that were not minorities. That means that of all drivers Chicago police pulled over in 2004, 72% of them were minorities. Seems a bit unbalanced no?

Chicago police officers participated in the traffic-stop survey to comply with legislation sponsored by everybody's favorite rock star, U.S. Senator Barack Obama. He sponsored the bill in 2003 as a lowly Illinois state senator. Obama issued a statement acknowledging Chicago police efforts to prevent racial profiling, but that "it is obvious from today's release by the city that there is, in fact, a problem."

Cline says the report is not necessarily evidence of racial profiling. From ABC7 Chicago:

"We may put an extra 100 officers in the Englewood district on a Friday night because we have information that there is going to be a gang retaliation, compared to another area of the city, Garfield Ridge, where we may only have two officers that night. Of course, those officers if they each write one ticket, are going to write more tickets to minorities than they are in a white neighborhood."

Cline also said that "racial profiling, whether it's real or perceived, threatens to erode the trust we have worked so hard to establish in all of Chicago's communities."

Right now Northwestern University's Center for Public Safety is looking over the report and their analysis will be sent to the Illinois Department of Transportation. IDOT will then report to the governor.