Ill. state police reject bias claim

June 14, 2011

The Associated Press

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State police said they seek searches of minority drivers much less often than local police do.

Illinois state police are defending their record on searching minority drivers during traffic stops. 

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed an official complaint because state police consistently ask minority drivers to allow a search of their cars more often than they ask white drivers. The ACLU says these "consent searches" should be investigated by the Justice Department.

But the state police said Tuesday they seek searches of minority drivers much less often than local police do. They also told The Associated Press that the  percentage of minority drivers who are asked to allow a search has fallen steadily over the past few years. 

The ACLU says state police fail to address the basic complaint -- that black and Hispanic drivers are treated differently than white drivers.

 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)