Five months after the American Civil Liberties Union called the number of street stops by Chicago police “shocking,” the two sides have reached what they called a landmark agreement on the controversy, reports the Chicago Tribune. It names a retired federal magistrate judge to oversee reforms and institutes heightened training for the department’s 12,000 officers and supervisors. Police will keep track of all investigatory street stops and protective pat-downs, not just those that don’t result in an arrest, as they have done in recent years. That practice had made it hard to assess the full impact of the street stops on the public, especially minorities, the ACLU said.
The two sides chose former Judge Arlander Keys, an African American, to use the additional data to determine if the city’s practices are lawful, issue public reports twice a year on his conclusions and make recommendations for changes in department policy and training. The agreement comes at a time that police across the U.S. are under scrutiny for racial profiling and their use of force, particularly with African Americans. The ACLU found Chicago police made more than a quarter-million stops from May through August 2014, a far higher rate than New York City cops did at the height of their controversial stop-and-frisk policy. The ACLU called the numbers “a troubling sign” of an illegal policy on the department’s part. At the time, the department said it flatly prohibited racial profiling and cited its improved officer training. Keys, 71, who will play a critical role in carrying out the agreement, worked for about two decades as a federal magistrate judge in Chicago before stepping down from the bench last year.