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When he was 18 years old, Rashawn Lindsey was stopped, handcuffed and frisked by a Chicago police officer while walking home with a friend in 2015.
The officer began going through their pockets and demanded to know if either had marijuana on them. They didn’t.
“I felt like a criminal,” Lindsey, now 24, said. “They had no reason to stop us. We were just walking. The problem was it was at night and we got our skin.”
Attorneys at Romanucci & Blandin, LLC and Hart McLaughlin & Eldridge, LLC allege Lindsey’s “stop and frisk” was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.
Now, Lindsey is one of two million people involved in a class-action lawsuit certified by Judge Andrea Wood on Aug. 31.
According to the lawsuit, the Chicago Police Department’s stop and frisk practice targeted young and middle-aged minorities without the required “reasonable suspicion” that a crime has been or is about to happen.
The lawsuit alleges that in 2014, more than 715,000 stops were conducted. More than 70% percent of those stops happened to Black residents and more than 15% to Hispanic residents, according to the lawsuit. But there were no recoveries of illicit contraband, according to attorney Antonio Romanucci.
With the class action certified, Romanucci said there is a possibility of a trial, although they would prefer an agreement of change be manufactured through talks with the mayor and CPD.
More news you need
- Attorney General Kwame Raoul’s office announced today it will investigate the Joliet Police Department for evidence of a pattern of civil rights abuses. It’s a move that comes more than a year after a man died in police custody.
- Lake Central High School in northwest Indiana was put on lockdown this morning after reports of an active shooter, but police said no shots were fired and no one was injured. Two students were taken in for questioning, according to the school.
- A Lincoln Park woman was upset that her son would miss school when she falsely claimed a bomb was on a plane at a South Florida airport after missing her flight, her family says. Marina Verbitsky, 46, was arrested and charged with falsely reporting a bomb, and a judge set her bail at $10,000 — which she posted yesterday.
- Former Sen. Adlai Stevenson III died Monday at his North Side home at age 90. For the better part of a century, his name was a household word in politics as a member of a political dynasty that included those who served in the White House and those who sought to but fell short.
- A $122 million project to modernize apartments for low-income renters at the former Lawson House YMCA won crucial support from aldermen yesterday. A city loan of up to $17.59 million was approved to back the renovation of the Art Deco building at 30 W. Chicago Ave.
- Veterinarians at Brookfield Zoo started administering COVID-19 vaccine doses last weekend to gorillas, sloths and other animals considered to be at high risk for contracting the virus. Shots at Lincoln Park Zoo will begin over the next few weeks.
- For more than two years, teens from Belmont Cragin Youth Leadership Council have fought for bike lanes in their community, hoping to avoid tragic accidents. Finally, in August, their fight bore fruit, as new bike lanes started sprouting in the Northwest Side neighborhood.
- An inflatable slide that looks like the sinking Titanic keeps popping up at Chicago events, including one this past weekend. Unlike most bounce houses, this one references one of the worst maritime disasters in history.
A bright one
Four West Side nonprofits have formed a coalition in hopes of strengthening public safety through free legal aid and wrap-around social services for children and young adults.
“For decades we have spent billions of dollars policing, prosecuting and incarcerating primarily Black and Latino communities in Chicago,” Cliff Nellis, executive director of the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, said at a news conference Tuesday.
“This has led out to … the massive numbers of permanent debilitating criminal records [and] lengthy prison sentences — and exacerbated the cycle of poverty, the cycle violence and racial inequity in our city.”
That coalition, Justice Rising: Project 77, aims to break those cycles.
One member of the coalition, the Lawndale Christian Legal Center, 1530 S. Hamlin Ave., will be assigning one attorney to be on site at each of the other three nonprofits in the coalition: Breakthrough, 3219 W. Carroll Ave. in East Garfield Park; BUILD, 5100 W. Harrison St. in Austin; and New Life Centers of Chicagoland, 3908 W. Hirsch St. in Little Village.
Those three attorneys will provide free legal help to potential clients who have cases pending in Cook County’s juvenile and adult courts.
Yolanda Fields, executive director of Breakthrough, said their organization has had a lot of success with providing services for families but access to quality legal aid is something that has been missing. Just because someone has had a run-in with the law, she said, doesn’t mean they should be forgotten.
“We believe that redemption is possible and that redemption doesn’t absolve us but it creates an opportunity for hope,” Fields said. “We are not just helping young people, but we are helping our community. We are restoring hope, we’re repairing and we are providing opportunities for harm to be reconciled and healed.”
From the press box
- As good as the White Sox have been this season, we’ve never seen them go on a tear that shows what the team looks like when clicking on all levels, Steve Greenberg writes.
- Justin Fields is as talented as everyone thought, so now what do the Bears do? The answer is rooted in where they want to go—and how methodically they want to bring him along, Patrick Finley writes.
- Andy Dalton is starting Sunday, but Rams coach Sean McVay says his team is preparing for the possibility that the Bears use Fields as well.
- If the Cubs want a quick rebuild, starting pitching needs to be a priority, Russell Dorsey writes.
Your daily question ☕
What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
Email us(please include your first name and where you live) and we might include your answer in the next Afternoon Edition.
Yesterday, we asked you: When does summer feel officially over to you? Here’s what some of you said...
“When I am outside and that first wave of a breeze from the northwest flows around me. I love it!” —Joyce Newcom
“Well, everyone says Labor Day but for me is when I’m officially done with open water swimming which is usually late Sept, early Oct.” —Erika Hoffmann
“When school starts summer is officially over for students and teachers.” —Carolyn Denny
“When the leaves are down on the sidewalks and the crunching of them beneath my shoes can be heard.” —Juliana Pelaez
“First time I have to clear frost off the windshield.” — John Krein
“When Mother Nature turns on the air conditioning.” —Charlotte Abel
“This year, I’d say around Week 6 when the Bears are 2-4 and Nagy in desperation to save his job, starts Justin Fields.” —Christopher Bouloukos
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