Chicago Police Face Backlash After Parking “Bait Truck” Filled With Nikes And Louboutins In Black Neighborhood

August 12, 2018  |  

chicago police criticized for setting up bait truck

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Chicago police had time last week and acted like they don’t have actual, violent crimes occurring to solve because they were too busy planting a “bait truck” filled with expensive shoes in a low-income neighborhood. Vox reports a truck loaded with Nike Air Force 1 sneakers and Christian Louboutin shoes turned up in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago last week as a part of a sting operation led by the Norfolk Southern Railway police. The truck traveled to more than one site in the area’s predominantly black southwest side neighborhoods to lure thieves resulting in a total of three arrests, one being a 36-year-old deaf man who stated he was looking for food and was released a day after his arrest.

Activist Charles Mckenzie of the crime prevention group God’s Gorillas captured residents confronting officers about the truck in a video that went viral on the internet August 2nd with 600,000 views on Facebook alone. In the video, residents can be heard criticizing the police for parking the truck “in the ghetto” around “kids” playing basketball.

McKenzie says he was “hurt” by what he witnessed because tactics like these only work to further weaken relationships between law enforcement and the community it’s intended to serve, not set up:

“How can we trust CPD and they are doing stuff like this in our community?”

“It hurt me because I try to help these guys get jobs.”

Activists and politicians alike spoke out against the incident accusing the Chicago Police Department of misplaced priorities. In a statement, Ald. Roderick Sawyer 6th, chair of the City Council’s Black Caucus pointed out that with the high rate of violence occurring in the city this summer alone, he’s surprised that law enforcement is focusing on these types of crimes:

“In a moment where police capacity is clearly under extreme strain, these sort of tactics are the last thing we should be spending manpower and energy on.”

A spokesperson for the American Civil Liberties Union Of Illinois shared that furthermore, these sorts of tactics were a detriment to gaining the trust of the community to report what they know about the violent crimes occurring in the city:

“Police in Chicago must focus on building trust and better relationships within the communities they serve, not engage in stunts like bait trucks.”

“The Chicago Police Department admits that it can’t solve murders and violent crimes because communities of color don’t trust the Chicago police. These stunts won’t help.”

Chicago mayoral candidate and former head of the Chicago Police Board, Lori Lightfoot agreed that all that entrapment such as this does is convince black citizens that the law isn’t on their side or truly concerned with their safety:

“Especially after a weekend with seventy shootings and zero arrests, news of this bait truck operation is an appalling display of misplaced priorities and a step backwards on the path to trust and legitimacy.”

In a follow-up report from Vox, Norfolk Southern spokesperson Susan Terpay insisted the practice would be coming to an end:

“Norfolk Southern recognizes that, despite the need to safeguard freight in the area, this operation eroded trust between law enforcement and the community.”

“We sincerely regret that our actions caused further unease, and we don’t plan to use this method in the future.”

This is America, folks. Black lives may not matter, but clearly the loss prevention of name brand fashion does. You can view community members confronting Chicago police about the underhanded practice below:

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