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Lawsuit Claims Chicago Cops Using Quotas in Neighborhoods Initiative

So says a department lieutenant, who was removed from a supervisory role in a program that aims to build bridges between cops and communities. Franklin Paz, Jr., claims that contrary to the aim, officers assigned to Community Safety Team (CST) units are under orders to engage residents by making more frequent arrests and traffic stops, issuing citations and by conducting stop-and-frisk detentions that have drawn criticism from Civil Rights campaigners. The CST program was created last year and Paz says in the suit that he was removed from his role when he complained about evaluation methods for cops in his charge.

The suit names a Deputy Chief Micheal Barz as the source of the directives, which he said were meted out to middle-level supervisors of the more than 1,000 officers that are members of CSTs. Paz claims in the suit that the expectations run counter to a consent decree signed between the city and federal governments in 2019 that mandates the CPD reform policing methods deemed excessive in communities of color. The Illinois Attorney General’s office last year found the CPD well behind on meeting the conditions set out in the 146-paragraph compact.

Paz, himself cited in 2013 seach-and-seizure violation,  says Barz demanded per-shift quotas of the so-called blue cards that cops are required to fill out when engagements do not result in arrests or citations. This includes the investigatory stops in which cops are permitted to briefly detain citizens if they have reasonable suspicion to believe they are engaged in illegal activity. Named for a US Supreme Court ruling that codifies the practice, the so-called Terry Stops are derided by critics as infringements of protections granted by the 4th Amendment to be secure in their persons if cops lack probable cause. The suit says the quotas are a source of the mistrust that city residents harbor for the CPD.

The Cook County Criminal Defense lawyers at The Chicagoland Law Firm represent clients who have been targets of aggressive policing in the city of Chicago and in jurisdictions around the state. Our DuPage County Defense Attorneys are adept at creating legal strategies that help them achieve the best possible outcomes based on the facts in their case, including when cops infringe on their Civil Rights. To learn more about the assistance we provide, contact our offices for a free consultation. Our experienced team of professionals can’t offer legal advice until you retain us. When you do, we will represent you zealously. We are your best defense.