Chicago traffic stops increased three-fold in two years

From the Chicago Tribune:

Pedestrian stops by Chicago police officers plummeted in number beginning in 2016 after a new state law and an agreement between the ACLU and the Police Department required officers to more thoroughly document and justify the encounters to ease concerns about racial profiling and constitutional violations…

But a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says that at the same time pedestrian stops fell so sharply, Chicago police dramatically increased how often they pulled over motorists.

The number of traffic stops more than tripled, rising from 85,965 in 2015 to 187,133 in 2016, then jumping to 285,067 in 2017, the ACLU said.

The latest report also found that Chicago police stopped African-American motorists at a disproportionately higher rate than whites, Hispanics and Asians…

Multiple Chicago police officers who talked to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly said they believe many officers now prefer to pull drivers over rather than stop pedestrians. The documentation they must fill out for traffic stops is much simpler than the lengthy, detailed reports required for pedestrian stops as a result of the department’s agreement with the ACLU, they said.

Police have the authority to pull over drivers who commit traffic violations, but even if a ticket isn’t issued, officers are still required to document the motorist’s race and other identifiers. These so-called blue cards, though, take far less time to fill out than the reports for pedestrian stops, the officers said.

Read the entire article here:  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-police-traffic-stops-20190111-story.html

A few pointers on how to handle yourself during a traffic stop

Jennifer Walters from the Wall Street Journal’s Marketplace has a good piece about what to do when you are pulled over.  You can read the full story here:  What not to say when pulled over by a cop.

Her main points:

  1. don’t argue;
  2. don’t lie;
  3. no sudden movements;
  4. don’t act weird;
  5. don’t talk about how important you are or who you know;
  6. don’t offer a bribe.

And I will add to that:

  1. remember that you might be on video;
  2. this isn’t the time for jokes;
  3. don’t volunteer having contraband in your car; and
  4. don’t try to run or fight;
  5. if the officer says you are going to be arrested, don’t squirm or try to avoid the handcuffs;
  6. politely refuse all field tests, requests to search your car and breath or similar tests.

Does anyone else have any other suggestions?  Please put them in our comments section.