The ACLU has been on the forefront of the war against police brutality and unconstitutional misconduct. This time, they have set their sights on the Milwaukee Police Department, who they accused of having an “unconstitutional, suspicionless stop-and-frisk program.” The ACLU filed a lawsuit this week against the Milwaukee PD, alleging that their stop-and-frisk program disproportionately targets minorities.
According to the ACLU, the Milwaukee Police “created and deepened public fear of alienation from the MPD, particularly among black and Latino residents.” The lawsuit lists the plaintiffs as numerous black and Latino people that have been stopped or detained at least once with little to justify the action. The suit alleges that “No matter where they are in the city, black and Latino people face the constant fear that they and their children may be subjected to police harassment even if they are doing nothing wrong.”
Cops are racists who participate in a system of institutionalized racism. Statistics don’t lie. The case against the MPD goes back decades, much like every other high profile agency. According to a report that came out in 2011, black drivers are seven times more likely to be stopped than a white driver. This was determined in a review of over 46,000 traffic stops conducted by the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee. Their investigation also found that blacks were searched at twice the rate of whites. Little has changed in the six years since that study was conducted, with the evidence now strong enough for the ACLU to proceed with a lawsuit.
The Milwaukee Police Chief, Edward Flynn, has always defended the practices of his department, just like any police apologist would. He stated to the press that his agency uses “ethical and constitutional anti-crime strategies.” Unfortunately for him, again, statistics don’t lie. Despite what he says to the press and the attitudes he wished his officers had, they continue to discriminate against black and Latino communities, and the fact is backed by the numbers.
According to Flynn, he believes the community shouldn’t mind being harassed because they should understand their role in a safe community. “Yes, of course we are going to stop lots of innocent people. The point is, do folks understand what their role is as a cooperative citizen in having a safe environment. That level of inconvenience, if it’s coupled with respectful treatment, is something communities will accept to be safe.” So, in a nutshell, Flynn admits that he equates stopping and harassing innocent citizens with a safe community. The problem with statements from people like Chief Flynn is they have no basis in reality, yet they are sold to the public as certainties.
Flynn also denied that the Milwaukee PD has ever had a stop-and-frisk program, despite the statistical evidence. Flynn supports a Trump-like belief that the inner cities are ravaged with crime, again, despite statistical evidence that crime is at near all-time lows nationwide. It is this very fantasy culture that allows police propaganda to be disseminated throughout the media, ultimately influencing the community, whether factual or not.
Facts are easy to discern from police propaganda. The facts presented in the lawsuit are that in 2015 alone, over 196,000 stops were conducted of both traffic and pedestrian. This is a rise of nearly 300% since 2007. The vast majority of those stops were not only people of color, but determined to have been of little investigative value with little to no reasonable suspicion of a crime being committed. The lawsuit also states that minorities are intentionally targeted due to the likelihood of past criminal records, which in effect make them easy targets for commitment of low-level offenses.
The bottom line is the Milwaukee Police Department, like most other police departments, target blacks and Latinos because they are easy to arrest with little evidence, and due to economic status, have little way of legal reprisal.
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