Lead Attorneys in Federal Stop and Frisk Class Action Lawsuit in Chicago Outraged by Donald Trump’s Recommendations to Increase Use of Unconstitutional Tactics - RB Law - RB Law
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Lead Attorneys in Federal Stop and Frisk Class Action Lawsuit in Chicago Outraged by Donald Trump’s Recommendations to Increase Use of Unconstitutional Tactics

Posted on: September 28th, 2016 by Romanucci & Blandin

Romanucci & Blandin Continue Pursuit of Justice for Class Plaintiffs in Stop and Frisk Lawsuit in Chicago

CHICAGO – (September 23, 2016) Lead Attorney on Stop and Frisk Class Action Lawsuit, Antonio Romanucci of Romanucci & Blandin, cites Donald Trump’s comments on increasing the practice of Stop and Frisk – especially in Chicago – as uninformed and potentially dangerous toward mending police and African American relations in the city.

“Mr. Trump is speaking out on a topic for which he is not only out-of-touch, but also uniformed on the basic civil liberties of each and every American,” said Romanucci. “His rhetoric on this subject is offensive to the hard work of reform the ACLU and the Chicago Police Department have undertaken,” he added. “The efforts to reform this policy and ensure that stops on Chicago streets meet constitutional and legal standards, could be jeopardized by Trump’s brazen comments.”

The complaint filed by Romanucci and Blandin in April of 2015 asserts that the CPD’s widespread constitutional abuses have flourished as a result of, and are directly caused by, policies and practices devised, implemented, and enforced by the City. These entities have: (a) failed to properly screen, train, and supervise CPD officers, (b) inadequately monitored CPD officers and their stop and frisk practices, (c) failed to sufficiently discipline CPD officers who engage in constitutional abuses, and (d) encouraged, sanctioned and failed to rectify the CPD’s unconstitutional practices.

This class action lawsuit to stop the pervasive practice of unconstitutional stop and frisks in the City of Chicago follows a landmark federal class action lawsuit filed in 2008 against the City of New York and NYPD (Floyd, et al. v. City of New York). In August 2013, a federal judge found the NYPD liable for a pattern and practice of racial profiling and unconstitutional stops and frisks.

Based on information made publicly available by the CPD, and recently publicized by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois, hundreds of thousands of people are stopped or stopped and frisked each year by the CPD without reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal conduct. In their March 2015 report investigating the CPD’s stop and frisk practices, the ACLU of Illinois found:

  • In 2012 and 2013, half of the written and recorded 250 stops in the CPD’s records did not provide legally sufficient reasons to establish reasonable suspicions for stop and frisk.
  • During a four-month period of May through August 2014, African-American Chicagoans were subjected to 72 percent of all stops (though this demographic constitutes just 32 percent of the city’s population).
  • From May through August 2014, more than 250,000 stops—primarily of African-Americans—did not lead to an arrest; Chicagoans were stopped at a substantially higher rate than New Yorkers in 2011, which was the peak of NYC’s stop and frisk regime.
  • In 2014, there were 93.6 stops in Chicago per 1000 people (between May-August 2014). By contrast, in 2011, at the height of New York City’s stop and frisk practice, there were 22.9 stops per 1,000 people.

The ACLU report also identified a historical pattern of the CPD’s stop and frisk practice during Terry stops (a brief detention of a person by police on reasonable suspicion of involvement in criminal activity but short of probable cause to arrest). According to the report, in the early 1980s, more than 100,000 residents were stopped and frisked and arrested. However, these cases almost never resulted in convictions due to arresting officers not attending court hearings to defend arrests. In the 1990s, a ‘gang loitering ordinance’ led to more than 40,000 stops and frisks and arrests during an 18-month period. An ACLU lawsuit filed on behalf of Olympic gold medalist Shani Davis in the early 2000s, after being subjected to an unwarranted stop and frisk conducted by the CPD, resulted in official policy changes by the CPD. However, these changes have proven futile or insufficient in stopping the practice of unlawful stops and frisks of minorities protected under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages and judgments against the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department (CPD), in addition to an immediate injunction of stop and frisk practices or a consent decree mandating policy change. The lawsuit is class action No: 1:15-cv-03467.

Those interested in learning more about the federal case can call: 1-800-458-9636; email: badstop@rblaw.net; or visit: www.badstop.org

NOTE TO MEDIA: For questions or to arrange for interviews with Antonio Romanucci, please call the media contact, Anthony Barranco at 312-494-0422 or at 312-709-7766.

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