Class-action lawsuit filed against Chicago over controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ police tactic

CHICAGO — A class-action lawsuit with two million plaintiffs has been filed against Chicago over the controversial police tactic known as “stop-and-frisk.”

The lawsuit alleges the plaintiffs, disproportionally Black and Latino residents, were illegally stopped “without cause” by Chicago police officers from 2010 to 2017.

Rashawn Lindsey was hanging out with his cousin and walking home when he said he was stopped by police. The Whitney Young graduate said he was profiled and picked out.

“‘No we don’t have any weed,'” Lindsey said. “They never gave us a reason why we were stopped. We’re just there, I feel like I’m a criminal.”

Lindsey is one of the two million plaintiffs in the lawsuit alleging systematic violations of the Fourth Amendment.

Attorney Antonio Tomanucci is leading a team of lawyers who brought the federal class-action lawsuit, which advanced in court last week.

“This practice has to stop, must will stop,” said Romannuci.

A group of ministers from the South and West sides vowed to fight that they called a “violation of civil rights.”

“This may be a giant Goliath situation,” Pastor Gregory Daniels said. “David will win.”

Romannuci said he reviewed seven years worth of contact cards, CPD documents created when a stop is made, but when no law has been broken. He said he found they mainly happened on the South and West sides, showing that Black residents were approximately seven times more likely to be stopped than white residents.

Rashawn Lindsey said his experience eroded his trust in the police.

Just a few neighborhoods — to me that’s ridiculous,” Lindsey said.

The lawsuit was filed as the city tries to implement police reforms required by the consent decree it voluntarily entered back in 2019.

A spokesperson for the city said they would not comment on pending litigation.

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