Tribune Report Covers Hundreds of Shootings Since 2011
The Chicago Tribune has released never-before-seen data about Chicago Police Department officers and police shootings over the last six years, covering over 400 shootings. The paper was able to acquire information about the shootings, including the shooters and victims, after a long legal battle with the City of Chicago. The report shows that officers fired over 2,000 bullets over the six year period, injured their targets in over two hundred instances, and killed 92 people. As WGN-TV 9 points out, the report shows that about four in five of the victims of these police shootings were black.
Most Police Shootings on South and West Sides
The sheer scale of police violence in the city of Chicago is staggering. There are more police shootings in Chicago than in any other American city, including Los Angeles and New York. The picture that the data provides is complex. Not only were most of the victims of shootings minorities, but also a majority of the police officers who shot them. The vast majority of the shootings occurred in Chicago’s South and West Sides, while some neighborhoods, such as The Town Hall District (which includes part of Uptown, Wrigleyville, part of Lakeview, Lincoln Square and part of Lincoln Park) had zero police shootings.
Minority Cops Can Be Guilty of Racial Profiling
One question that the statistics that The Chicago Tribune has compiled and release raise is, “Is it still racial profiling if a minority police officer does it?” It’s worth thinking about the legal answer to this question. Racial profiling by police most often occurs when a police officer chooses to detain, search, or arrest a suspect on the basis of their race or ethnicity. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that it is a violation of the suspect’s constitutional rights if a police officer stops and searches them on the sole basis of their race. The court’s reasoning was that police need a reasonable basis for suspicion before they stop and search someone. The court did not make a distinction between white cops and minority cops: this rule applies to every police officer. So even if a police officer is black or Hispanic, they can’t stop, question or search you just because of the color of your skin.
Chicago Cops Can’t Stop, Search or Shoot on the Basis of Race
How does this rule apply to the patterns that The Chicago Tribune has published? It seems clear that police officers are much more likely to stop, question, and shoot at black men than any other category of person in Chicago. While in some cases they may have a reasonable suspicion, in many cases they may only be approaching a suspect because the suspect is a black man. Several of the victims of police shootings in Chicago over the six year period have successfully sued the City. Regardless of the officer’s race, they need a reasonable basis for their suspicions, not just where you live or how you look.
Get Legal Help
If you or someone you know has been the victim of police misconduct, you need expert legal advice. Get in touch with an experienced civil rights attorney at Barney & Hourihane in Chicago today to get the justice you deserve.
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