Chicago resident sues Evanston over traffic stops

Ciara McCarthy, Managing Editor

A Chicago man is suing Evanston and several of its police officers, alleging that the officers stopped his car without cause twice while he was driving through Evanston.

Chicago resident Richard Jackson filed the Illinois suit on Monday, alleging that the officers who pulled him over violated his fourth and 14th amendment rights, and that they possibly racially profiled him.

Jackson was pulled over twice in Evanston, once in April 2013 and once in February 2014. On both occasions, Jackson said he had not committed any traffic violations and was pulled over “without any legal cause,” according to the suit.

During both stops, the officers claimed that they stopped him because there was a warrant out for someone with the same name, Jackson said.

“I believe they have some sort of policy or initiative to stop ‘suspicious’ individuals and use that warrant line as justification for their illegal traffic stops,” Jackson said.

The suit does not currently allege that the officers racially discriminated against Jackson, although Jackson’s lawyer Julie Herrera said it might be amended following the discovery phase of the suit.

Evanston Police Cmdr. Jay Parrott deferred comment to Evanston’s corporation counsel. The city does not comment on ongoing litigation.

Jackson is a resident of Chicago but works in Skokie, meaning he frequently travels through Evanston to get to work.

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