Earlier this year, the Chicago Police Department was criticized for purportedly having stopped and checked a disproportionate number of blacks and even made more stops than departments in other cities. Now the department has agreed to outside monitoring of its “stop and frisk” practices.
Now the nation’s second-largest police department will keep more data on the number of stops, the reasons for the stops, and the gender and ethnicity of the stops.
The CPD will share the data with the ACLU and a former U.S. magistrate judge who will issue a report twice a year.
In March, the ACLU criticized Chicago’s stop and frisk policy, claiming that “Stop and frisk is disproportionately concentrated in the black community.”
The ACLU also noted that blacks make up 32 percent of the city’s population but figured in at 72 percent of the CPD’s stops.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy pledged to step up supervision of patrols. “It is imperative that we use every tool and resource in a way that is not only lawful but respectful of the residents we serve,” he said.
The ACLU’s legal director, Harvey Grossman, celebrated the agreement. “What we have done here is move past the litigation process and advanced directly to a collaborative process,” Grossman said.
Chicago isn’t the only big city finding resistance to its stop and frisk policies.
The New York Police Department had its own issues with the policy. This month a federal monitor overseeing changes to the NYPD’s policies presented his plan to a federal judge to sign off on the new guidelines.
But the NYPD also wanted to review the policies due to a rise in murders since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office.
“If we see an area where there’s an increase in violence were going to put more resources in there. The stops that we want are good stops. We want stops and we want summary enforcement activity to the people connected in the violence,” NYPD Chief James O’Neill said on June 1.
Despite the many complaints by minority activists, though, others insist that stop and frisk policies work, and many credit the policy with making the streets of New York safer during Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s terms as well as the beginning of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s terms.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.