Harvey Grossman, Legal Director for the ACLU of Illinois, was quoted in an opinion piece by Steve Chapman of the Chicago Tribune that looks at the disproportionate targeting of minorities by police in light of the events in Ferguson, MO. Each year, the ACLU examines Illinois traffic stop data and consistently finds significant racial disparity in police interactions with motorists of color as compared to whites. Moreover, analysis of the data shows that contraband is less likely to be found on motorists of color. But what is perhaps just as troubling is the coercive nature of the request to perform a "consent search" in and of itself.
Illinois State Police say their officers request permission only when they have reasonable suspicion. But Harvey Grossman, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, says what the term encompasses is so elastic that "it's no impediment at all."