CHICAGO — The Chicago Police Department is doing far fewer stop and frisks, since an agreement with the American Civil Liberties Union a few years ago. However, new data shows the targets of the stops haven’t changed.
The findings are part of an agreement reached between police and the ACLU. Among its findings found by a retired judge charged with monitoring the new stop and frisk policy there was a dramatic decrease in the number of overall stops, a 72% decline. But overall 7 out of 10 stops still involve black people.
According to the numbers, in 2014-2015 during the pre-agreement, there were 1,321,506 total stops. From 2016-2017, the most recent years of complete data available and post CPD-ACLU Agreement there were 216,258 total stops.
Of those most current numbers, 71.8% of the stops were black/non-Hispanic, 20% were Hispanic and 8.1% were white.
The police department issued the following statement regarding the stops:
“Chicago police officers are trained to only stop citizens based on reasonable suspicion that a crime has been or is about to be committed and in response to calls for service… there is simply no place in this city or department for unconstitutional behavior or practices.”
“If nobody tells us who is committing these crimes and they know it and that’s just going to empower them to continued their behavior but at the end of the day then no one will be safe,” CPD Supt. Eddie Johnson said not long after the new policy was put in place.
Members of the ACLU said they are concerned about the disproportionate number of stops has remained.
The ACLU is very critical of how CPD officers are being allowed to amend the reports and how supervisors are handling those as clerical not constitutional issues.
Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham said police are simply not engaging as aggressively because they are afraid they will be docked pay or suspended for even a clerical error. In terms of the 7 out of 10 figure, he said officers are simply going where the crimes are occurring.