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Racial Profiling Report

Racial Profiling Report

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Published by Northwest Herald
The internal review conducted by the McHenry County Sheriff's Department after a former McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy In November 2008 claimed that he was fired for attempting to report an incident of racial profiling.
The internal review conducted by the McHenry County Sheriff's Department after a former McHenry County Sheriff’s deputy In November 2008 claimed that he was fired for attempting to report an incident of racial profiling.

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Published by: Northwest Herald on May 25, 2011
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SUMMARY REPORT
 –
IR 10-028
 Page
1
of 
49
 
 
SUMMARY REPORT
 –
INTERNAL REVIEW 10-028 
2010
BACKGROUND
In November 2008, former McHenry Count
y Sheriff’s deputy, A
, filed a civil law suit
against the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office (“MCSO”),
claiming that he had beenterminated in retaliation for complaining that racial profiling was occurring in the MCSOpatrol division. As part of the discovery process in that lawsuit, Mr. A
’s attorney
requested to view all of the traffic citations written by Deputies B, C, D, and E in 2007and 2008. In August 2010, MCSO Records Division made those citations available to Mr.A, and in the course of reviewing them, he flagged certain citations to be copied. As therecords division copied the citations, an issue was identified regarding the completion of the racial profiling portion of the traffic citations. Many citations had been issued toindividuals with Hispanic surnames, but the corresponding racial profiling data classifiedthose individuals as Caucasian. In mid-October 2010, Lt. Duane Cedergren and Sgt.Daniel Patenaude were tasked with conducting an internal review of this issue.
PRELIMINARY INTERVIEWS
The review began with Deputies B, C, D, and E, whose citations A requested. At theonset of this review, it appeared that E and D had a high number of what appeared to
be “mismarked” tickets,
in other words, marking individuals with Hispanic surnames asCaucasian on the racial profiling section of the traffic stop data forms.Sgt. Patenaude informally interviewed Deputy E on October 20, 2010. Sgt. Patenaudeexplained that it appeared E had indicated drivers with Hispanic surnames wereCaucasian. E advised that he was instructed to complete the racial profiling section inthis manner because deputies cannot ask the driver his/her race, and he cannot be
certain of the driver’s actual ethnic backgroun
d. E further advised he thought he wasproperly documenting Hispanic drivers because when he conducted a license status
check or warrant check over the radio, he could not call a Hispanic person “Hispanic.”Additionally, he pointed out that there is no “Hispanic” option in
the programs used toconduct those searches. He further stated if the driver showed documentation thatthey were Hispanic or specifically stated that they were Hispanic, he would mark themaccordingly. Otherwise he would mark them as Caucasian. Sgt. Patenaude advised Ethat he appeared to have been accurately filling out the racial profiling section throughapproximately the middle of June 2007, at which time he appeared to change the waythat he completed the racial profiling section. E was asked why he changed. E advisedthat it must have been around that time (near the middle of June 2007) that he wastaught or instructed to complete the racial profiling section in the manner which hedescribed above. At the conclusion of the interview, Sgt. Patenaude informed E that theproper way to complete the racial profiling section was to use his best perception of the
driver’s ra
ce. Sgt. Patenaude instructed E to begin providing copies of his traffic
 
SUMMARY REPORT
 –
IR 10-028
 Page
2
of 
49
 
 
SUMMARY REPORT
 –
INTERNAL REVIEW 10-028 
2010
citations to his supervisor at the end of each shift to ensure accuracy. On November 8,2010, Sgt. Patenaude again spoke with Deputy E. Sgt. Patenaude asked E who hadtaught him to fill out the racial profiling section in the manner described. E advised thathe did not remember.After reviewing the data, it was apparent that neither Deputy B nor Deputy C had a highnumber of mismarked citations. As a result, they were not initially interviewed.Former Deputy D was not initially interviewed because she no longer worked for MCSO.She resigned her position on September 11, 2010 and went to work for the Federal
Bureau of Investigations (“FBI”).
 A thorough review of all traffic stop data was conducted for the entire Patrol Bureau todetermine whether other deputies were marking Hispanic drivers as Caucasian.As a result of that review, on November 5, 2010, Sgt. Patenaude conducted an interviewwith Dep. F. During this interview, Sgt. Patenaude asked F why it appeared that nearthe middle of June 2007, she seemed to start marking more drivers with Hispanicsurnames as Caucasian. She advised that she did not know why it would appear thatshe changed the way that she completed the data. When Sgt. Patenaude reviewed thedata with her, she agreed that it looked questionable, but insisted that she did notchange the way she was completing the data. Her explanation was that the individualswith Hispanic surnames most likely appeared Caucasian. For example, she suggestedthat when a Caucasian person marries someone with a Hispanic surname, she stillappears Caucasian even if her last name suggests otherwise.
1
 The investigation indicated that Deputy G also had a high number of citations issued toindividuals with Hispanic surnames that were marked Caucasian. Sgt. Patenaudeinterviewed G on November 10, 2010. Sgt. Patenaude asked G why the review showedhe had marked a high number of drivers with Hispanic surnames as Caucasian on theracial profiling data in 2008 and 2009. G advised that he based his determination of a
driver’s race on the
 
person’s skin color and topic of conversation during the stop. He
advised that if the driver had light colored skin, he would mark them as Caucasian,unless through conversation with the driver,
the person’s ethnic background was
disclosed. G further advised that although deputies are taught to fill out the traffic stopdata, there has never been any formal training targeting how to determine an
individual’s race.
 (
See
Informal Interviews, attached hereto as Appendix A(1), A(2), A(3), and A(4).
2
)
1
 
Based on Dep. F’s statistics, she was not
later flagged for questioning. (See P. 9, infra.)
2
Due to individual privacy concerns, identifying information for individual deputies throughout this report and theattached appendices has been redacted.
 
SUMMARY REPORT
 –
IR 10-028
 Page
3
of 
49
 
 
SUMMARY REPORT
 –
INTERNAL REVIEW 10-028 
2010
DEVELOPING A PLAN
Initially, we determined that a review of 
all MCSO deputies’
citations, written warnings,
and stop cards (referred to collectively as “traffic tickets”) for 2007 and 2008
would beconducted. As the review progressed, 2009 was added for an updated analysis. TheMCSO Records Division provided a computer print out of every traffic ticket written byeach deputy from 2007-2009. After reviewing the data, we determined that 16 deputieswere failing to consistently complete the racial profiling portion of the traffic tickets.As a result, the review process focused on the three following areas:
 
determine which deputies had a substantially elevated percentage of citationsissued to identified Hispanic drivers and whether there was evidence that anysuch deputies appeared to be engaged in racial profiling
 
determine which deputies appeared to be frequently mismarking Hispanics asCaucasians and why they were doing so
 
determine which deputies were not completing the racial profiling portion of the traffic tickets and why they were not doing soIn order to accomplish these three initiatives, we set out to analyze the traffic statisticsfor the department as a whole. We recorded and reviewed each traffic ticketindividually to determine each depu
ty’s percentage of stops to different races, thenumber of apparent “mismarks,” and to identify any deputies that were
systematicallyfailing to complete the racial profiling information.The
term “racial profiling”
during this investigation and in this report means: thedecision to stop a vehicle, issue a ticket, or take any other action during a traffic stop,
which was influenced by the driver’s race. *
See
General Order 1.5.04 Prohibition AgainstDiscriminatory Enforcement Practices, attached hereto as Appendix B.]
STATISTICAL GATHERING AND REVIEW 
Since 2004, the MCSO Records Division has submitted an annual report to the IllinoisDepartment of Transportation (
IDOT
) of each traffic stop made by MCSO deputies(with some exceptions
3
) in order to comply with 625 ILCS 5/11-212, Traffic StopStatistical Study. This report contained the following information for each traffic stop:
3
Vehicle stops for reasons other than traffic violations are excluded.
See
625 ILCS 5/11/2-2(a).

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