Chicago police gang database targets young, black males


Mothers of black, male teenagers in Chicago, fear their children will be added to the Chicago Police Department's gang database. As of the end of 2017, the database contains the names of 130,000 people, 90% of them black or Latino, who are suspected of being gang members. Most have never been arrested for a violent offence or for a drug or weapons charge. The police are not required to notify those who are added to the database, and the reasons for inclusion may be as trivial as style of dress or the presence of tattoos. Those in the database find it difficult to pass the background checks necessary for employment or professional licences, and they are highly likely to wind up in jail if they are stopped by police for any reason. The database is also shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Community activists and a growing number of elected officials agree the database needs to be reformed.

Related learning resources