The Chicago Police Department has a more rampant problem with racism than the NYPD it seems, according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The report details that for the same time period, officers in the Chicago Police Department (CPD) made stop-and-frisk searches at a higher significantly significantly rate than the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Stop-and-frisk, a practice which expanded under former New York City Mayor Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has been shown to disproportionately discriminate against minority individuals.
According to the ACLU, the CPD initiated over 250,000 stop-and-frisk searches which resulted in no arrests from May to August of last year. That amounts to 93.6 stops per 1,000 residents per capita, which quadruples the NYPD’s rate of 22.9 stops per 1,000 residents within the same timeframe.
The ACLU also found 75 percent of the CPD’s stop-and-frisk victims were African-American. However, that demographic makes up about one-third of Chicago’s population, illustrating that African-Americans are disproportionately stopped.
The CPD provided no “legally sufficient reason” for these stop-and-frisk searches, said the ACLU. Police officers are required to fill out “contact cards” every time they conduct a stop-and-frisk search, including their reason for the stop. The ACLU found that CPD officers listed a reason approximately 50 percent of the time, and sometimes the reason was unrelated to suspicious activity.
“People should be stopped based on crime data and crime information,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “Nothing else.”
However, the ACLU’s data show a starkly different scenario. CPD officers appear to be racially discriminating against African-American Chicagoans. The ACLU’s report comes at a bad time for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as he is running for reelection next month.
Emanuel has been dealing with another scandal concerning the CPD’s use of a CIA-esque interrogation blacksite where people have reportedly been held for long periods of time without legal counsel or a record of their detainment. The CPD came under harsh scrutiny in the wake of those allegations.
Much like in New York City, the police are widely criticized for their use of stop-and-frisk searches, mainly because the policy allows police to target minorities.
“The Chicago Police Department stops a shocking number of innocent people,” said ACLU legal director Harvey Grossman. “And just like New York, we see that African Americans are singled out for these searches.”