The Illusory End of Stop and Frisk in Chicago
28 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2018 Last revised: 3 Jul 2023
Date Written: June 23, 2023
Critics of stop-and-frisk have heralded its recent demise in several large U.S. cities. Proponents of stop-and-frisk respond that when the practice ends, crime increases. Both groups typically assume that the end of stop-and-frisk reduces the number of police–civilian interactions. We find otherwise in Chicago: the decline in pedestrian stops coincided with an increase in traffic stops. Qualitative evidence suggests that the Chicago Police deliberately switched from pedestrian to traffic stops. Quantitative data are consistent with this hypothesis: as stop-and-frisk ended, Chicago Police traffic stops diverged (in quantity and composition) from those of another enforcement agency in Chicago, and the new traffic stops affected the same types of Chicagoans who were previously subject to pedestrian stops.
Keywords: Police, Criminal Justice, Reform, Chicago
JEL Classification: D02, D82, D73, D74, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation