Chicago Organization Pursues Lawsuit For State Police To Make Surveillance Records Public

Andy Dahn
June 07, 2019 - 12:34 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Chicago organization that's accused state police of discriminatory surveillance made its first appearance in court Friday morning.

A lawsuit filed by the Arab American Action Network back in February calls on authorities to release records from the Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative.

"At this point, Illinois State Police won't even acknowledge whether or not they're using Suspicious Activity Reporting," said Lead Organizer Muhammad Sankari. "We know that there's a nationwide initiative and that the Chicago Police are using it."

Sankari said their lawsuit is fueled by legal action taken against Chicago Police.

"Based on that, we're able to say that based on location and some of the broader terrorism issues that they're looking at, we believe that it's targeting members of our community. This can have real consequences on people's lives from immigration issues to legal issues," he said.

Attorney Wallace Hilke with the Community Activism Law Alliance said their demands are simple.

"We want this program to be made transparent and public to residents of Illinois so they can understand how government funded surveillance is impacting communities across the state."

A second court date has been set for next month.