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More Suburban Residents Complain of Racism by Cops

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Some Northwest suburban residents say their police departments discriminate against minorities. And they plan to take their complaints to the federal government.

Reverend Walter Blalark says he’s gotten 11 complaints so far. They say cops in Elgin and nearby towns have harassed African-Americans and treated them roughly during routine stops.

This week Elgin’s longest-serving African American officer said he’s seen discrimination by members of his own department.

Blalark says each incident contributes to a climate of distrust.

“We should not feel frightened when a police officer stops a person of color,” he says. “This experience is more than just isolated.”

A spokesperson for the Elgin Police Department declined to talk about specific allegations. But she says records from the internal affairs division show no evidence of discrimination.

Blalark says citizens were harassed when they tried to file grievances with the police. He says now his group will turn to the U.S. Department of Justice and the state attorney general.

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