The city of Milwaukee has approved a $3.4 million settlement over its police department’s alleged stop-and-frisk practices, more than a year after a lawsuit accused Milwaukee officers of targeting black and Latino people through racial profiling.
Milwaukee police made more than 350,000 unlawful stops between 2010 and 2017, according to the American Civil Liberties Union and its Wisconsin chapter. The ACLU sued on behalf of six African-American or Latino plaintiffs who had been stopped – in some cases, multiple times — without reasonable suspicion.
The federal class-action lawsuit claimed the plaintiffs were the victims of a “vast and unconstitutional stop-and-frisk program,” according to ACLU press releases.
Former Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has denied the use of stop-and-frisk practices, but acknowledged his department’s policy of traffic stops in areas with high crime rates.
Along with the cash payout, the settlement will require police officers to release data about all their stops to the public. Officers will also be trained on racial profiling issues, and law enforcement will be subject to oversight from an independent consultant.
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