CHICAGO — Karen Sheley, Director, Police Practices Project, ACLU of Illinois, made the following statement after Donald Trump said that the Chicago police should use “stop and frisk” to fight violence in the city.
“Today, President Trump attacked the ACLU’s 2015 agreement with the City of Chicago to ensure that police only use “stop and frisk” when it is constitutional. Yet again, this administration encourages strong-arm tactics and unconstitutional behavior by law enforcement, instead of supporting commitments by local police to do the hard work of building respect and relationships with the communities they serve.
Black and Latino Chicagoans have lived through the decades of excessive force, unconstitutional and harassing stops, and coercive interrogations leading to false confessions. People have bled, taxpayers have payed hundreds of millions of dollars for lawsuits against officers, and the police department – having lost the faith of the community – is unable to solve serious violent crimes without the cooperation of witnesses. Chicago has started to reject these harmful, ineffective tactics. Through the 2015 ACLU agreement and the upcoming consent decree, the City is committing instead to have a police department that follows the law.
Before the CPD-ACLU agreement went into effect, the CPD stopped pedestrians at record-high levels and half of those stops were unconstitutional. Thankfully, the number of unconstitutional stops has decreased since the agreement went into effect. Nothing in the agreement prevents the CPD from making lawful stops and officers have continued to stop pedestrians in our city.
On Friday, a CPD officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, a crime he committed while he was on duty. We need a consent decree over the department, major changes in the police union contracts, and a new commitment from the police department to work for the communities it serves, rather than use strong-arm tactics. Chicago needs real reform, not a return to failed and unconstitutional policies.”
Press release from ACLU of Illinois