Nearly half of all motorists pulled over last year in Chicago were black, according to a recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois – though they make up just 32 percent of the population.
The Chicago Tribune highlighted the report in a Dec. 26th front-page story that also featured West Side Rev. Ira Acree.
Acree recounted for the Chicago Tribune his encounter last summer with a police officer, who pulled him over and accused the longtime minister of texting while driving in Austin.
The minister at Greater St. John Bible Church denied he had broken the law, saying he was checking a text while stopped at a red light.
He said the officer responded by asking a series of angry questions: Where have you been? Where are you headed? What have you been doing today?
“I know black men get profiled in America. I know they get profiled in Chicago, but I’m in my own neighborhood,” Acree told the Tribune.
Acree discussed his June 7 encounter at Roosevelt Road and Austin Boulevard with the Austin Weekly News shortly after it happened.
Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the ACLU, told the Tribune that “black motorists are being stopped far more likely than we would expect. We think that tends to show that police have different tests when deciding who to stop and who to search.”
The Chicago Police Department did not comment on the report, but a spokesman told the Tribune that Superintendent Garry McCarthy is committed against racial profiling.
To read the Chicago Tribune story, click here.