CHICAGO (AP) – A civil rights group has filed a lawsuit alleging that the Chicago Police Department relies on an error-plagued database that names up to 195,000 people as gang members, including many who have never been in a gang.
Northwestern University’s MacArthur Justice Center attorneys filed the lawsuit Tuesday in federal court seeking class-action status, damages, oversight of the police database and a way for people to remove their names from it.
The lawsuit contends that inclusion in the database can ruin a person’s job prospects and create other serious problems. It says police have confirmed that there are more than 128,000 adults in the database, 70 percent of whom are black. And it estimates that it also includes the names of 28,000 to 68,000 juveniles.
The lawsuit says once a name has been added to the database, it will remain there forever.
The city’s legal department didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.