Chicago police gang database criticized for inaccuracies

CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Police Department plans to make changes to its gang member database following criticism that it’s often inaccurate, outdated and racially skewed.

The Chicago Tribune obtained police records through a Freedom of Information Act request that shows the database features 128,000 names, not including juveniles.

Chicago Inspector General Joseph Ferguson has held three public hearings regarding the database as part of an audit into how police gather data on gang members. The state Senate Public Health Committee has also heard from advocates seeking the elimination of the database.

“We don’t know how it operates,” Rachel Murphy, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, said at a recent hearing. “We are really concerned about transparency.” Read more…