WBEZ Chicago reports an uptick in police traffic stops throughout Illinois in 2023.

According to a recent report by the Illinois Department of Transportation, police agencies throughout the state conducted a higher number of traffic stops in 2023 compared to the previous year. However, the report also revealed that police officers still disproportionately target Black and Latino drivers during these stops. Additionally, the report pointed out that numerous police agencies fail to comply with state law by not reporting their traffic stop data.

According to Ed Yohnka, the director of communications and public policy at the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, it is disheartening to witness the persistence of racial disparities in traffic stops despite the attention given to the issue. Moreover, he expressed his disappointment at the fact that the number of stops has increased instead of decreasing.

According to the 2023 Illinois Traffic Stop Study, which was recently released by IDOT, there were 2.26 million stops made in the state in 2023. This number represents a 12% increase from the 2.01 million stops made in 2022, and it is the highest annual statewide total since 2019.

According to the study, 18% of police agencies did not submit complete stop data for a full year or failed to submit any data at all. However, this is an improvement from the previous year’s 21% non-compliance rate with the law.

At the end of last year, 997 police agencies in Illinois were active, but surprisingly, 158 of them didn’t submit traffic stop data to IDOT. Although the majority of these agencies are small downstate police departments, some in the Chicago metro area like Dixmoor, North Chicago, and Round Lake Heights also failed to submit their data. Moreover, North Chicago continued to neglect its traffic stop data reporting for the years 2021 and 2022, according to records.

According to the IDOT report, there were 23 agencies that submitted only a portion of their stops for the year 2023, including the south suburban Harvey Police Department. Records indicate that Harvey Police did not provide its traffic stop data to IDOT for the years 2021 and 2022.

Loren Jones, the director of criminal legal systems at Impact for Equity, a public interest law and policy center in the Chicago region, emphasized that reporting traffic stops and pedestrian stops, including their racial demographics, has been a state law requirement since 2004. Jones believes that as the infrastructure and precedent for reporting are already in place, there is no excuse for law enforcement departments not to comply with this requirement.

More News:  Commuters using NJ Transit and Amtrak from New York Penn Station face further extended delays

Moreover, racial inequalities in traffic stops continue to persist in the majority of police departments in the state. According to the report, 95% of agencies that recorded at least 50 traffic stops in 2023 showed that Black drivers were stopped more frequently than white drivers. Shockingly, in 69% of those agencies, the stop rate for Black drivers was at least twice the rate for white drivers. Similarly, the data revealed that Latino drivers were stopped more often than white drivers in 81% of agencies with at least 50 reported traffic stops last year.

The study revealed that Black drivers were not only more prone to being stopped by law enforcement officers, but they were also more likely to experience repeated stops.

The study revealed that in 2023, Black drivers had a 36% higher likelihood than white drivers of being stopped two or three times by the police.

The study revealed that Black drivers were stopped by the police four to 10 times more often than white drivers last year. Furthermore, they were found to be three times more likely to experience such stops.

According to the study, the results indicate the potential presence, yet not affirmation, of racial profiling as a contributing factor in several traffic stops.

According to civil rights activists, mass traffic stops in Black and Latino communities have a profound and enduring impact, and the drawbacks of these negative encounters far exceed any advantages they may have in safeguarding the public.

According to Yohnka, the disproportionate stopping of black and brown motorists has led to a wedge of mistrust between the police and the communities they are meant to serve. This burden has had a heavy impact on these communities, as they continue to bear the brunt of discriminatory law enforcement practices.

According to Yohnka, the saddest part of the situation is that it does not contribute to public safety in any way. Instead, it creates a divide between communities and the police force, as the former loses trust in the latter. This lack of trust only hinders the cooperation that can exist between the two, which is essential in creating the kind of communities that everyone desires.

More News:  Dad's Regret: Giving Toddler the Hose was a Major Error

According to the study, there are significant racial disparities in the reasons why the police make traffic stops. The data shows that Black drivers were the least likely to be stopped for moving violations but the most likely to be stopped for licensing or registration issues compared to drivers of other racial or ethnic groups. This highlights a concerning trend where non-moving violations, such as an expired registration tag, are being used by law enforcement as a pretext to investigate drivers for more serious offenses that have nothing to do with the initial stop. Civil rights advocates have long argued against these practices, which they say have little to do with roadway safety.

Jones from Impact for Equity emphasized the need to put an end to the use of lower and minor traffic stops as a pretext for criminal investigations through policy. According to Jones, it is crucial to establish the precedent that these counterproductive and discriminatory stops, which disproportionately target people of color, will no longer be tolerated.

According to a recent report, there was an uptick in traffic stops made by the Chicago Police Department. The report revealed that from 2022 to 2023, there was a 4.6% increase in traffic stops, with the number rising from 511,738 to 535,088. This marks the second-highest number of traffic stops recorded by the Chicago Police since 2004, which was the first year data was collected. To put it into perspective, the Chicago Police made almost 600,000 traffic stops in 2019.

According to the study data, there was a decrease in the percentage of stops involving Black drivers by Chicago Police Department (CPD) from 57% in the prior year to 51% in 2023. On the other hand, there was an increase in the percentage of stops involving Latino drivers, which rose from 25% in 2022 to 31% in 2023.

Last year, some agencies that patrol suburban areas witnessed a significant rise in traffic stops made, with the Evergreen Park Police Department reporting a 41% surge in total traffic stops from 2022 to 2023. The police department made over 14,000 traffic stops in the small southwest suburban village, which has a population of around 19,000 residents. In 2023, Black drivers were the subjects of 58% of police stops, a slight decrease from 60% in 2022. On the other hand, the percentage of stops involving Latino drivers slightly increased from 7% in 2022 to 8.6% in 2023.

More News:  Jeanine Pirro Goes on a Rant Against Stormy Daniels After Spending the Day in Trump Court

In 2023, the Cook County Sheriff made a record-breaking 41,435 traffic stops. This is a significant increase of 63% from the previous year and marks the highest number of traffic stops made by the agency since data collection began in 2004.

The Racial Profiling Prevention and Data Oversight Board, established to enhance the collection of traffic stop data and suggest reforms, is facing a persistent challenge in retaining members. Despite scheduling two more meetings later this year, the board has convened only ten times since May 2022. Unfortunately, in four of these meetings, the board faced the issue of not having the minimum eight members required to form a quorum.

Since its establishment in 2008, the board has been facing inconsistency in conducting its meetings due to the prolonged delay in state officials making appointments.

According to the IDOT website, as of July 2, 2024, there are four vacancies on the 15-person board. Governor JB Pritzker is responsible for appointing two of the vacancies, while Senate President Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, and House Minority Leader Tony McCombie, R-Savannah, are each responsible for filling one vacancy.

Jones expressed his concern about the bureaucratic systems that are in place with boards and oversight agencies, stating that they tend to take longer than desired. Nonetheless, he stressed the importance of pushing those in power to ensure that these boards have the necessary resources and equipment to fulfill their duties. Jones emphasized the role of advocates, the media, and people like him in keeping up the pressure to ensure that these boards can effectively carry out their responsibilities.

We would be glad to hear from you if you have any queries regarding traffic stops or if you’d like to share your own experience. Please feel free to reach out to us and share your story.

Reference Article

Avatar photo
MBS Staff
Articles: 8003

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *