2016 U. Chi. Legal F. 125 (2016)
Youth/Police Encounters on Chicago's South Side: Acknowledging the Realities

handle is hein.journals/uchclf2016 and id is 131 raw text is: 








Youth/Police Encounters on Chicago's South Side:
                  Acknowledging the Realities

          Craig  B. Futterman,t Chaclyn Hunt, and Jamie Kalven





                                   ABSTRACT

    This paper highlights the critical importance of acknowledging the reality of Black
    teenagers' experiences with the police. Public conversations about urban police
    practices tend to exclude the perspectives and experiences of young Black people,
    the citizens most affected by those practices. The aim of the Youth/Police Project-
    a collaboration of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic of the University of Chicago Law
    School and the Invisible Institute-is to access that critical knowledge and ensure
    it is represented in the public discourse. Rather than examining high-profile
    incidents of police abuse, we focus on the routine encounters between police and
    Black youth that take place countless times every day in cities across the nation-
    interactions that shape how  kids see police and  how  police see kids. Our
    methodology  is straightforward. We ask Black high school students to describe
    their interactions with the police. And we listen.

    Three findings stand out, above all, from these conversations:

    *   The ubiquity of police presence in the lives of Black youth. Every student with
        whom   we have worked lives with the ever-present possibility of being stopped,
        searched, and treated as a criminal. These negative encounters make many
        students feel less than a person, and cause them to curtail their own freedom
        at a critical phase in their development in efforts to avoid being stopped by the
        police.

    *   The  depth of alienation between young Black people and  the police. The
        overwhelming  majority of Black high school students express great distrust of
        the police, so much that they do not feel comfortable seeking police assistance,
        even when someone close to them is the victim of a violent crime.





    t Clinical Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School; Invisible Institute. Thanks to
Christina Bell and Kashan Pathan for their superb research assistance; to our colleagues in the
Youth/Police Project, including Anna Alekseyeva, Adam Barber, Rachel Beattie, Ava Benezra,
Elyse Blennerhassett, Aaron Cahan, Patricia Evans, Jesse Galdston, Laura Acosta Gonzalez,
Maira Hayat, Emmitt House, Traci Irvin, Laurel Kean, Jackie Scotch-Marmo, Michelle Mbekeani,
Joe MehChu, Andrew  Miller, Michael Morrill, Audrey Petty, Rajiv Sinclair, Rachel Steinbeck,
Forrest Stuart, Stephen Teague, James Winn, and Erica Zunkel; and to Samantha Liskow for her
sage editorial advice. Special thanks go to Hyde Park Academy teacher Keva McGee and her
students who trusted us with their wisdom and experience.


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