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Black drivers pulled over more often in Peoria, ACLU reports

PEORIA - The American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois (ACLU) released a report Monday, noting "racial disparities" that persist at traffic stops around Illinois, including in Peoria.

The ACLU reported black and Latinx drivers are searched at higher rates than white drivers. The report examines several years of data collected by the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) as part of the Illinois Traffic and Pedestrian Stop Statistical Study Act.

The ACLU found in 2017, 58 percent of traffic stops in Peoria involved a black driver, 4 percent involved a Latinx driver and 1 percent an Asian driver. Meanwhile, 38 percent involved a white driver. 

According to the ACLU 27 percent of Peoria is black, and 62 percent is white. 

“Baseless traffic stops and inconsistent search standards that disproportionately affect Black and Latinx drivers harm the public trust and damage police-community relationships," said Rachel Murphy, Staff Attorney, Police Practices Project, ACLU of Illinois. "We hope that this report and website will be a tool for law enforcement agencies and the public to identify any racial disparities in their local traffic stops, and to develop solutions to correct any unjustified disparities and improve their interactions with drivers."

ACLU Illinois recommends the state should continue to gather traffic stop statistics, abolish consent searches during traffic stops, review and report data on police dogs, create consistent statewide usage of body cameras and investigate and report all outcomes of complaints against officers.

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