This Chicago DUI Attorney chuckled today. She read this headline and shook her head in disbelief.
The Illinois State Police on Tuesday denied any racial bias in deciding when to ask permission to search cars during traffic stops and defended the searches as an effective law-enforcement tool.
But the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois said state police ducked the basic question of why troopers are more likely to seek permission to search the cars of black and Hispanic drivers than of white drivers, even though searches of white drivers more often reveal contraband.
In defending consent searches, the state police said they seized 2,069 firearms, over 14,472 pounds of illegal drugs, and arrested thousands of motorists for serious crimes in 2009. They did not, however, say how many of those successes were a result of consent searches.
The ACLU's figures show only 177 state police consent searches produced any contraband, and more than half of it came from white drivers. Mostly what troopers found was alcohol and drug paraphernalia. They found weapons only 14 times and more than 50 grams of drugs only eight times.
Well, what do you think? Do the police stop people of color more frequently, than others or is that just a myth right up there with the Tooth Fairy?