A report just released by the American Civil Liberties Union found that Chicago police use the “stop-and-frisk” procedure more than four times as often as the New York Police Department, where the tactic has been deeply rooted in the city’s practices.
The ACLU of Illinois examined the use of the controversial tactic, in which a police officer can stop and confront a suspect solely based on their appearance and search them for weapons, and found that Chicago officers stopped, on average, 93.6 residents out of every 1,000 (On average, NYPD officers stopped 22.9 people per 1,000 residents within a four-month period). Between May and August of last year, Chicago police stopped-and-frisked 250,000 civilians without making a single arrest. In 75 percent of those instances, the person stopped was Black, despite Black residents making up just one-third of the city’s population.
“The Chicago Police Department stops a shocking number of innocent people,” said ACLU Legal Director Harvey Grossman to the Associated Press. “And just like New York, we see that African-Americans are singled out for these searches.”
Investigators examined at “contact cards,” reports that police officers are required to fill out after any such confrontation, but found that half of the cards were lacking reasoning for the stop.
Representatives for the Chicago Police Department told the Associated Press that the department prohibits “bias-based policing” and require its officers to submit detailed documentation of any incidents.
“People should be stopped based on crime data and crime information,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said in a statement. “Nothing else.”