Chicago Cyclists Who Feel Targeted by City Officials Express Concerns

“I want to know what you're going to do"

Heated Chicago cyclists who claim they feel targeted by officials, attended a City Hall meeting Wednesday hoping to find solutions.

Elihu Blanks is a U.S. Army Veteran who said he rides his bike from Chicago’s South Side to Downtown often and had to speak out after he said he was racially profiled by a Chicago Police Officer in his Grand Crossing neighborhood.

“Turning a corner at 11 miles per hour shouldn't be a bad thing,” Blanks said. “Shouldn't be a reason to pull me over.”

Equiticity, an activist group, called out Chicago Police in a packed room at the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Council. This comes after the Chicago Tribune published a report that said 56 percent of all bike tickets last year were issued in predominantly black neighborhoods; in comparison to the 24 percent that occurred in Latino neighborhoods and the 18 percent that took place in White neighborhoods.

“When we started looking at them in districts, we start to see some differences that's not necessarily tied to necessarily race,” said Glen Brooks, CPD director of public engagement.

Brooks offered to sit down with the group to discuss concerns.

“I have districts that are both predominantly black, and one district, you might see an increase and the district right next door, you might see a decrease,” Brooks said.

President of Equiticity Olatunji Oboi Reed however, said it’s not enough.

“I don't care what nobody has to say,” Reed expressed. “I want to know what you're going to do."

A CPD representative said he wants to sit down with the concerned cyclists sometime in the next three months to discuss solutions.

Still, no exact date of that meeting has been set.

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