On July 12, 2000, Michael and Karen Ledford, African-Americans, filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, for alleged unconstitutional racial profiling by the City of Highland Park, Illinois Police Department [HPPD]. The Ledfords were represented by attorneys from the Roger Baldwin Foundation of ACLU, Inc. and private counsel. Plaintiffs alleged violations of their rights as secured by the Fourth Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause and Title VI. Shortly after the initial filing, plaintiffs moved for class certification and the parties filed a joint motion for entry of a consent decree.
On July 31, 2000, the District Court (Judge William T. Hart), granted in part and denied in part plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The District Court also granted in part and denied in part the joint motion for entry of the consent decree and set the matter for a fairness hearing. Ledford v. City of Highland Park, 2000 WL 1053967 (N.D.Ill. July 31, 2000).
A modified consent decree was filed on August 2, 2000, which the District Court preliminarily found to be a fair and reasonable settlement. Plaintiffs filed class notice documents including a Spanish-language version of class notice.
On September 27, 2000, a fairness hearing was held. The District Court granted the defendant's motion to amend the proposed consent decree and overruled objections to the settlement that were filed by individual class members. The individual objectors appealed. On January 16, 2001, the Seventh Circuit dismissed the appeal for failure to prosecute.
The terms of the consent decree included:
• A prohibition of racial profiling and racial discrimination of any kind by HPPD officers;
• Documentation of various information (including race) for every incident involving a stop, detention, interrogation and/or search by HPPD;
• Installing audio and video equipment in each HPPD patrol vehicle;
• Implementation of a citizen complaint system;
• Training officers in cultural diversity issues.
The parties agreed that the Consent Decree would terminate five years after its date of entry, or two years earlier if the department was in compliance with various provisions and there had not been any racial profiling during the term of the decree, or plaintiffs' attorneys considered the response to any such allegation "effective, timely and adequate."
The terms of this Consent Decree were incorporated by reference into the Memorandum of Agreement that ended the U.S. Department of Justice's similar investigation into the same department. See related cases, below.
The docket does not include any further entries, so presumably the matter was closed in 2005. Dan Dalton - 01/10/2007