The Illinois ACLU is pressing for a federal investigation of law enforcement racial profiling in the state, alleging that officials largely ignore the data on traffic stops that has been collected for eight years, reports Stateline.org. The group says the data shows that state troopers ask to search the cars of black and Hispanic drivers more often than those of white drivers. The law requiring the collection of traffic stop data created a panel to review the results, but the slots were never filled and the group never met. “Nobody does anything with the data,” says Harry Grossman of the Illinois ACLU. “We are the only ones that have done anything.”
The situation in Illinois is typical. Nearly a dozen states require police to collect data about racial bias in traffic stops, but in most cases, little use is made of the data. States compile reports that just sit on a shelf. Wisconsin had a law requiring the collection of data about racial profiling, but it lasted less than a year. The statute, passed by Wisconsin Democrats before they lost control of state government in 2010, was barely on the books before it was repealed by the Republicans who now dominate the legislature. Republicans cited objections from local police as a major reason for repealing the law.