The Chicago Sun-Times reporter Art Golab wrote about a recent study indicating racial disparity among the number and nature of consent searches performed by Illinois State Police troopers. Not only did the research find that African American and Hispanic drivers were searched more frequently, but that troopers were more likely to find contraband among Caucasian drivers. The ACLU of Illinois is urging Governor Quinn to put an end to consent searches entirely.
Golab spoke with ACLU of Illinois Legal Director Harvey Grossman:
“The problem with consent searches is that they’re based on hunches and they allow a lot of subjectivity,” Grossman said.
“Whether it’s intentional or unconscious, I think it’s quite obvious that they suspect drivers of color to be engaged in transporting contraband more frequently than they suspect white drivers. But in fact they’re wrong more of the time with minority drivers than they are with white drivers.”
In the wake of the ACLU complaint, Gov. Pat Quinn asked the state police to review the issue, and state police spokeswoman Monique Bond said the agency hopes to have the results of the review in the next few weeks.