CHICAGO (CBS) — Four interns for Rainbow Push accuse Chicago Police of racial profiling. They say officers stopped them and handcuffed them, all because of how they looked. CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker talked with them today.
Four young men, interns at Rainbow Push, now accuse Chicago Police officers of racial profiling.
The men, 19 to 21, say they were stopped just a block from Rainbow Push as they were walking towards a bus stop.
“The detective car pulled up, got out handcuffed us, put our hands on the car, checked us and everything,” said Patrick Risper.
The men suspect the cops were looking for guns. They had none. What these young men do have are aspirations. Patrick Risper attends Chicago State University and is majoring in criminal justice.
“Honestly, it makes me hate the people behind the badge. I don’t want to be one of those people,” said Risper.
Vasshaun Battie is a rising sophomore at Northwestern University.
“The cops claim they protect and serve but a lot of them don’t,” said Battie.
They’re clearly angry. Ministers and community activist who gathered around them say they should be. They liken today’s incident to the Travon Martin case where a neighborhood watch volunteer was recently found not guilty after shooting the unarmed 17-year-old he considered suspicious.
“What makes Trayvon significant besides the verdict is that there’s a Trayvon in every community,” said Jesse Jackson Sr.
Police claim the stop was justifiable. They say the boys were hanging out on a corner known for gang loitering and it was just a protective move. The young men call it unnecessary.
Rainbow Push leaders say they will file a formal complaint with Chicago Police. In a statement, Chicago Polcie said,”Chicago Police do not engage in racial profiling. The group was in a spot that’s known for gang loitering and is in a medium gang conflict area. Given that, officers asked them to disperse. One individual refused to take his hands out of his pockets and they were briefly held at the site while officers did a protective search and documented the incident.”