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Editorial: When police stop citizens, ‘reasonable and articulable’ suspicion matters

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A lawsuit with more than a million plaintiffs?

It boggles the mind to imagine that many people involved in a single lawsuit.

But that’s the potential fallout from U. S. District Judge Andrea Wood’s decision at the end of last month to grant class action status to a lawsuit against the city of Chicago over its police department’s long-standing stop-and-frisk policies.

Wood’s decision puts the case’s six original plaintiffs into a class that lead plaintiff’s attorney Antonio Romanucci has estimated numbers more than a million people.

His calculation was based on police records between 2010 and 2017 that show at least 2 million stops in which officers allegedly had no “reasonable suspicion” that a crime had been or was about to be committed. Plaintiffs’ lawyers believe those include many individuals who were stopped more than once.

The suit seeks financial compensation for the six named plaintiffs and court-ordered changes in the department’s policies and practices under the oversight of a federal judge.

There will not be damages or any other financial award for the million or more members of the class who had been wrongfully stopped, the lawyers pointed out, which must have come as a relief to cash-strapped city officials.

The lawsuit was filed as the........

© Chicago Tribune

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