Chicago police routinely violate the constitutional rights of mostly African-Americans who have not committed any crime, according to a federal lawsuit filed this week, reports the Chicago Tribune.
The allegation comes in a suit filed on behalf of six African-American men from the South and West Sides and seeks class-action status against the city, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, and 14 unnamed police officers, the report says.
The suit follows New York City‘s plans to reform public housing stop and frisk procedures; public housing residents filed a class action lawsuit against the city over questionable stops and arrests in housing projects by NYPD officers.
The change in New York City was sparked after a rookie cop accidentally shot and killed Akai Gurley in East New York’s Pink Houses late last year. Officer Peter Liang was patrolling a dark stairwell in the area when he claims Gurley startled him coming down.
From the Chicago Tribune:
The 36-page lawsuit alleged that the “suspicionless” street stops have led to constitutional abuses including unlawful searches and seizures as well as excessive force…
The suit referenced a March report by the American Civil Liberties Union that found African-Americans were stopped at a disproportionately higher rate than Hispanics and whites, especially in predominantly white neighborhoods. African-Americans were subjected to 182,048 stops, 72 percent of all stops, yet constituted 32 percent of the city’s population…
In all, more than a quarter-million stops took place from May through August 2014, according to the ACLU, which called the numbers “shocking” and “a troubling sign” of an illegal policy on the department’s part. None of those people stopped was arrested.
The ACLU says Chicago police keep records of street stops, but does not include information about how often police frisk individuals, the Tribune says.
Marty Maloney, a spokesman for McCarthy, tells the Tribune that the department bans racial profiling and other bias-based policing.
Officials were still reviewing the lawsuit Tuesday and offered no comment to the Tribune.
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty