A new study indicates the chance a pedestrian will be stopped and searched by police varies widely by race in Evanston and its neighboring communities.

The data, from the Illinois Department of Transportation, is based on a breakdown by race comparing pedestrian-stop searches conducted by police in each community and the 15-years-and-over population of the same towns.

The chart shows the chance a person of a given race had of being stopped and frisked once during 2018 in that community.

The report does not attempt to adjust for visitors to a community or repeat stops of the same individual or break out the data into different age groups.

Under state law, police stops of pedestrians are included in the data collected by IDOT only if the stop included a frisk, search, summons or arrest.

One potential measure of the accuracy of police decisions about who they should stop and search is the ratio of searches to the issuance of warnings and citations and the making of arrests as a result of those stops.

The chart above shows those outcomes for Evanston and the departments of the three neighboring communities.

It should be noted that the extremely small number of stops of Asian individuals in the suburban communities — only one or two per town all year — make it dubious to draw conclusions about the justification of searches of members of that group in those communities.

Related story

More whites stopped for traffic violations last year (12/23/19)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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