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Trump Calls for “Stop and Frisk” in Chicago, Treasure Island Employees Protest – TODAY 10-09-18

Despite Evidence to the Contrary, Trump Champions “Stop and Frisk” in Chicago

President Donald Trump blew one of his favorite dog whistles on Monday, saying he planned to send representatives from US Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ office to Chicago to “help sort out the terrible shooting wave,” along with advocating “stop and frisk” practices by police.

Chicago Police trail a demonstration in the Gold Coast demanding more police accountability. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

“The crime spree is a terrible blight on that city,” said Trump in remarks to the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Florida, adding he wanted officials to “work with local authorities to try to change the terrible deal the city of Chicago entered into with ACLU, which ties law enforcement’s hands, and to strongly consider stop-and-frisk.”

Trump’s reference of the “deal” the city entered into with the ACLU recalls an agreement between the civil liberties organization and the city meant to curb the use of “stop and frisk” tactics – which have not only have been found unconstitutional – but also generally target marginalized people at extraordinarily high rates, and don’t actually work. A federal judge ruled the practice in New York City unconstitutional in 2013. Data released by the New York City Civil Liberties Union showed that nine out of ten people stopped were completely innocent. A 2015 report by the Illinois ACLU showed that by then, Chicago had outpaced New York City in the use of “stop and frisk” tactics, that people of color were overwhelmingly stopped more, and that record keeping was woefully inaccurate. Shortly after the release of that report, six African American men filed suit against the City over the practice.

Despite “stop and frisk” being debunked time and again, Trump championed the tactic, and said that it worked.

“It works, and it was meant for problems like Chicago,” said Trump. “It was meant for it. Stop-and-frisk. And Rudy Giuliani, when he was mayor of New York City, had a very strong program of stop-and-frisk, and it went from an unacceptably dangerous city to one of the safest cities in the country and I think the safest big city in the country. So it works.”

Trump’s latest plate of red meat is a standard menu item for conservatives and others on the right who’ve for years used violence in Chicago as a way to champion reactionary policies that target people of color while ignoring underlying root causes. Trump’s rhetoric however, scores big points with his base and organizations like the IACP, who faced protests at their 2015 conference in Chicago by groups demanding more police accountability and funding for community and social services.

 

A demonstrator is arrested outside the 2015 conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police at McCormick Place. Photo by Aaron Cynic.

The Illinois ACLU blasted Trump’s remarks.

“Yet again, this administration encourages strong-arm tactics and unconstitutional behavior by law enforcement, instead of supporting commitments by local police to do the hard work of building respect and relationships with the communities they serve,” said Karen Sheley, Director, Police Practices Project in a statement. “Before the CPD-ACLU agreement went into effect, the CPD stopped pedestrians at record-high levels and half of those stops were unconstitutional. Thankfully, the number of unconstitutional stops has decreased since the agreement went into effect.”

The president’s remarks came just days after Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke was convicted second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery for shooting Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing him. The case sparked local and national outrage and protest, and helped galvanize a growing movement for more police accountability in the city.

“On Friday, a CPD officer was found guilty of second-degree murder, a crime he committed while he was on duty,” said Sheley. “We need a consent decree over the department, major changes in the police union contracts, and a new commitment from the police department to work for the communities it serves, rather than use strong-arm tactics.”

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also dismissed Trump’s remarks.

“The failed policies he’s talking about have no place for a city that’s working together with communities about how to build — not only trust but a collaborative and cooperative relationship,” he said, according to ABC. “So, while resources are always welcome, the idea of what President Trump is talking about is not only not welcome — it’s antithetical to what we’re working on, and that is about a strong, pro-active, professional police department.”

Laid Off Treasure Island Employees Protest

Employees of Treasure Island stores, a Chicago based grocery chain, rallied on Monday to demand they be paid wages and benefits for 60 days in the wake of the company announcing the closure of all locations.

“People live check by check, and for Treasure Island to do this to us with no notification, with no pay, it’s unfair,” Treasure Island employee Sandra Roman told ABC7.

The company announced it would close all its locations by October 12th a few weeks ago.

Employees like Roman, who say they were given little to no notice of the closures, filed a lawsuit that alleges Treasure Island violated the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.

“It is shocking to learn that Treasure Island has left their workers stranded without notice, without paychecks,” said C.J. Hawking, executive director of Arise Chicago.

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