We can’t walk our dogs while Black, go for a run, look at new homes, play loud music, wear a hoodie or wait for a bus. And No. 1 on this list: driving while Black.
According to Block Club Chicago, which looked at data from the Illinois Traffic and Pedestrian Stop Study, Black people are more likely to be stopped by Chicago police than white people. I mean, this is not new news, but some of y’all need the numbers. The data shows that Chicago police stopped more than 204,000 Black drivers in 2020, compared to just over 35,000 white drivers.
From Block Club Chicago:
Each year since the study began, around seven times more Black Chicagoans are stopped by the police than white Chicagoans, the data shows. That rate has been consistent as the total number of stops has exploded since 2015, and the racial disparity remained even when the total number of stops fell in 2020.
Latino drivers were stopped at three times the rate of white drivers, the data shows.
Of the more than 300,000 stops made by Chicago police in 2020, about 62 percent of the drivers stopped were Black — and about 10 percent were white.
Black people make up about 30 percent of Chicago’s population, according to census data, while white people make up about half of the city’s population.
The study began in 2004 as a result of the state law Senate Bill 30, passed in 2003. It is released annually to identify issues of racial profiling in local law enforcement.
The number of traffic stops may have fallen in 2020 because fewer people were on the roads during the pandemic, but the disparity still increased. Last year, ABC News reported the same findings after an investigation into Chicago police stops in 2019. In that year alone, ABC found that the police stopped Black drivers at a rate of almost 5.6 times higher than white drivers.
“Traffic stops in Chicago have been going up exponentially,” said Rachel Murphy, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, according to Block Club Chicago. “It is so important for the city to explain what is driving these stops and explain why they believe this is a legitimate policing practice when it is disproportionately impacting Black drivers, especially; also, Latino drivers.”
If you’re wondering what the Chicago Police Department has to say about it, then look no further. They basically gave the same response to questions about the disparity for the last two years. See for yourself.
From Block Club Chicago in 2021:
“The Chicago Police Department remains committed to ensuring residents are treated equally, fairly and with respect,” spokesman Don Terry said in an emailed statement. “Officers are trained to stop vehicles after a traffic violation or potential crime has occurred. We do not target individuals based on race or community.”
From ABC News in 2020:
In a statement, CPD tells the I-Team “Officers are trained to stop vehicles after a traffic violation or potential crime has occurred. While more resources are deployed to areas that have more violent crime, we do not target individuals based on race or community.”
CPD, I think it’s time you stop sticking to the script here.