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Glencoe Responds to Racial Profiling Claim with Data

In 2011, about 17 percent of people stopped for traffic violations were minorities, according to Glencoe Public Safety Department data.

About 15 percent of the people stopped for traffic violations in the  have been minorities over the past three years, according to information obtained by Patch. .

Rev. Dr. Michael James of Evanston requested the information after Glencoe police issued him a ticket for cycling through the Sheridan Road construction zone on June 30. James says the stop was racially motivated and several other white bicyclists went through the area without being stopped.  

Here is a look at the racial background of the stops on a year-to-year basis, according to documents obtained by Patch through the Freedom of Information Act from the Glencoe Public Safety Department.

Number of Stops

2009

2010

2011

Caucasian

1961

 

1917

 

1440

 

Minority 

325

 

359

 

290

 

Minority as percentage of total stops

14.22%

 

15.77%

 

16.76%

 

The village estimates the minority driving population in Glencoe for all three years is 19.61 percent and U.S. Census Bureau data shows that Caucasians make up 94 percent of Glencoe's population. 

Since June 26, the village says police have stopped 230 motorists or bicyclists in the area of Sheridan Road that is undergoing a water main improvement project. .”

Reverend seeks public apology

The reverend and NAACP Evanston Branch President George Mitchell have met twice with Glencoe officials to discuss the situation. In early July, James told Patch he was considering filing a racial profiling lawsuit against Glencoe police. Since then, James says he has held off pending conversations with the village.

Mitchell says nothing in the data stood out or would raise alarm bells.

“It is what it is, but the incident itself has more to do with the treatment of Rev. James,” Mitchell said. “I’m hoping to hear some words of acknowledgement of Mr. James complaint. I’d like to hear what the village has to say.”

Mitchell was in the process of trying to set up another meeting with village officials on Aug. 8.

Village: Fact-finding

The village says the matter is still in a fact-finding stage.

“No one is frustrated,” said Pamela Louik, a communications consultant retained by the village. “This is a process we have to see through. Glencoe has never been called on the carpet for anything like this and we are looking at everything.”

Racial profiling became a hot topic along the North Shore in the late 1990s and 2000 after accusations were made against Highland Park Police.

Louik said that is not the case today in Glencoe.

“There are so many safeguards. We have training, there are reporting issues," she said.

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James Dean August 10, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Just grow up, pay the ticket, and stop playing the race card
David Greenberg August 10, 2012 at 05:05 PM
"Rev. Dr. Michael James of Evanston requested the information after Glencoe police issued him a ticket for cycling through the Sheridan Road construction zone on June 30. James says the stop was racially motivated and several other white bicyclists went through the area without being stopped. " The Rev. can obviously read, and I saw that sign on Sheridan Road - it was quite clear and unambiguous about where bicyclists should be riding during the construction. The Reverend chose not to obey the sign. Whether or not he knew where Green Bay Road was (which is where cyclists were redirected to), isn't relevant. He could have certainly ridden back in the direction whence he came and he wouldn't have had any problem. The fact that other cyclists happened to be observed riding past as he was being arrested/ticketed isn't relevant either. The Cop was focusing on the instant situation, and the Rev's whining "buuuuuuuutttttt, what about those guys?!" smacks of a 10-yr old who got caught doing something, knows he did it wrong, and is trying to deflect. I don't care what your race is - if you do the crime, you get called on it, you pay the consequences. Whether it's riding a bike through a marked construction zone, or getting suspended in the Chicago Public Schools - just because you're black doesn't mean we're not going to enforce the law, just so we can make the statistics look good.... The sooner we stop buying into this crapola, the better.
Roberta Olshansky August 11, 2012 at 02:32 AM
I've lived in Glencoe for 40 years. My home is on the corner of Sheridan Road and Lakewood Drive. I've been suffering thru this construction probably more than most of the motorists. I cannot go south on Sheridan Road and I know it. However, I cannot tell you how many motorists and bicyclists that I encounter DAILY who choose to ignore all of the signage and one way North signs and are traveling south. Many just flip me off when I take the time to tell them they should turn around as they might cause an accident or injure someone. I agree with James Dean' comment above: "Just grow up, pay the ticket, and stop playing the race card". Glencoe police officers are the finest and most sensitive. They are well trained and professional. It is hard to believe this minister's story. He's just trying to avoid paying a fine. It speaks poorly for a minister and man of color to do this. Roberta Olshansky

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