The Windy City just suffered its deadliest January in 15 years, with at least 51 murders last month—up from 20 murders in January 2014 and 28 murders in January 2015. Many police blame the spike in violence on the increased scrutiny and burdensome paperwork requirements they face as a result of an agreement forged between the Chicago Police Department and the American Civil Liberties Union, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Beginning in January, Chicago police must document and justify every stop of any citizen—for any reason—by completing a two-page form that demands much greater detail than the one-page so-called “contact cards” formerly used.
With police fearful of the consequences of making an unjustifiable stop, it’s little surprise that officers completed 79 percent fewer contact cards in January compared to the same month last year. Nor is it surprising that, as one sergeant reported, criminals are emboldened by the relaxed policing.