As the public responds to the dashcam video documenting the traffic stop and arrest of Sandra Bland, an Illinois native who subsequently died in a jail cell three days later, many questions about the stop have been raised. The ACLU of Illinois has studied traffic stop data over the years and has found there to be significant racial disparities in the traffic stops and searches by police in Illinois. The Southern Illinoisan published an article about the Sandra Bland case and spoke with ACLU of Illinois Communications and Public Policy Director Ed Yohnka:
“What I would say is I don’t know that we know everything about this stop," Ed Yohnka, ACLU spokesman, said. "There is a video out there ... I think that we ought to be careful in not drawing too many conclusions from it."
He noted that the ACLU had actually identified that Texas county as one with a disproportionate number of traffic stops for minority motorists and for marijuana drug arrests. "There is just this whole issue of what motivates and what justifies these stops in the first instance," Yohnka said.