Greising: The Data Doesn’t Lie: Traffic Stops Reveal Age-Old Biases in Chicago Policing

It’s time to focus to a police tactic common in Chicago — traffic stops — that disproportionately affects people of color in poor neighborhoods.

Police secure the scene of a shooting on June 15, 2021 in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Four people were killed at a home during an early-morning shooting and four others who were injured were transported to the hospital. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

The surge in criminal violence in cities across the country seems to defy easy solutions. But, broadly speaking, courts have agreed on one tactic that should be off-limits: arbitrary and racially inequitable stop-and-frisk policing.

All too often, courts have found, the practice of stopping pedestrians and rifling through their pockets, with no justifiable cause, amounts to a violation of the constitutional right to protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

Perhaps it’s time to bring sharper focus to a related police tactic common in Chicago — traffic stops — that disproportionately affects people of color living in poor neighborhoods.

Recent data from the Illinois Department of Transportation shows that Black drivers got pulled over in Chicago last year at seven times the rate of white drivers. Latinx drivers were pulled over at triple the rate of white drivers.

Read more at the chicagotribune.com.