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The Rundown Podcast - PM Show Tile

Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news.

The Rundown Podcast - PM Show Tile

Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news.

Black drivers are involved in Illinois traffic stops at record rates. Why?

Black drivers accounted for over 30% of all traffic stops in Illinois last year, even though the state’s adult population is only 13.6% Black. There’s also been a fivefold increase in the number of Black drivers stopped for non-moving violations and then let go with a warning. That’s all according to a recent data analysis by WBEZ and the Investigative Project on Race and Equity, which found that Black driver involvement in Illinois traffic stops has reached its highest level on record. In this episode, Erin Allen speaks with Angela Caputo and Michael Liptrot, two of the many journalists behind the report, about the increase in so-called “pretextual stops,” how public officials responded to questions about the data, and the effect these traffic stops have on Black drivers. “If you come to work and you're doing everything you're supposed to do and then every so often you just get pulled into HR for nothing and questioned about what you're doing, it will lead you to have a level of angst and anxiety about just going about your day,” Liptrot said. We want to hear about your traffic stop experience in Illinois. It will inform WBEZ's coverage going forward. Visit wbez.org/trafficsurvey.

Stay in the loop with the Windy City’s biggest news.

   

Black drivers accounted for over 30% of all traffic stops in Illinois last year, even though the state’s adult population is only 13.6% Black. There’s also been a fivefold increase in the number of Black drivers stopped for non-moving violations and then let go with a warning.

That’s all according to a recent data analysis by WBEZ and the Investigative Project on Race and Equity, which found that Black driver involvement in Illinois traffic stops has reached its highest level on record.

In this episode, Erin Allen speaks with Angela Caputo and Michael Liptrot, two of the many journalists behind the report, about the increase in so-called “pretextual stops,” how public officials responded to questions about the data, and the effect these traffic stops have on Black drivers.

“If you come to work and you're doing everything you're supposed to do and then every so often you just get pulled into HR for nothing and questioned about what you're doing, it will lead you to have a level of angst and anxiety about just going about your day,” Liptrot said.

We want to hear about your traffic stop experience in Illinois. It will inform WBEZ's coverage going forward. Visit wbez.org/trafficsurvey.

More From This Show
We can’t let National Transportation Week pass without revisiting our conversation with Lee Crooks. He’s basically a local celebrity, with a highly-recognizable voice. He’s been announcing stops on the CTA for 25 years. “It does become something of a legacy,” Crooks said. In this episode, he talks to host Erin Allen about trains, legacy and Midwest accents. And yes, we have him do the voice. This episode was originally published on Oct. 18, 2023.