Agreement Reached on Chicago Police “Stop and Search” Practices

News brief by Mary C. Piemonte

Chicago Police Department emblem on building headquarters at 3510 S Michigan Ave

Chicago Police Department emblem on building headquarters at 3510 S Michigan Ave. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte

An official deal has been struck recently between the Chicago Police Department, and the American Civil Liberties Union following a report by the ACLU this March, regarding the questionable stop and search practices and procedures by local police officers.

On August 7, after months of negotiations, “rather than engage in expensive, time-consuming, and burdensome litigation,” CPD reported that both parties agreed to a series of steps designed to ensure and confirm that CPD policies and practices related to “investigatory stops and protective pat downs” comply with all laws, including the U.S. Constitution.

The official agreement includes “independent evaluation of CPD practices and procedures, additional data collection by CPD, heightened training for officers, and increased transparency” according to the CPD press release that can be found here.

Additionally, the independent consultant the former U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys, “is required to “report to the public twice annually” on stops and searches by police officers based on all data “collected by CPD” that is supposed to be also shared with the ACLU.

The agreement “goes into effect immediately” according to the CPD press release, and “beginning in 2016, Judge Keys and his staff will review the data collected by CPD, conduct a thorough analysis of the data, along with policies, procedures and training practices of CPD” and make recommendations as needed.

Karen Sheley, senior staff counsel at the ACLU was cited in the CPD press released as saying the agreement “relies not only on promises but also on specific verification of how CPD officers are interacting with the public on neighborhood streets all across the City.”

“Judge Keys will provide a clear, concise picture twice each year that police supervisors and advocates can use to make appropriate steps to improve this situation in Chicago. We also hope that the transparency and improved training will increase trust and understanding between the CPD and communities” Sheley added.

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