September 17, 2013

WBEZ has an in-depth piece on stop-and-frisk, a practice used by police departments that has been ruled unconstitutional in New York City, and has just recently come under scrutiny in Chicago. A stop-and-frisk is a random encounter initiated by a police officer that escalates to a pat down for weapons. The ruling in the New York City case found that the NYPD's stop-and-frisk program disproportionately targeted minorities.  The process of investigating stop-and-frisk practices in Chicago has proven to be fraught with obstacles. In 2011, the ACLU of Illinois filed a FOIA to look at the nature and number of stop-and-frisks performed by the Chicago Police Department. Unfortunately, stop-and-frisk encounters are not being recorded in the system implemented by the CPD, and the documentation gathered as a result of the FOIA request was subject to extensive redaction.

The ACLU wants the police to do better documentation, which they say would allow for better review.
“This is the most powerful tool the police department has and it is not reviewed by another branch of government,” Grossman said.

Read the entire article.

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