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Chicago’s Arab and Muslim community say police racially profile them

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Chicago’s Arab community leaders say local Arabs and Muslims have been racially profiled by police, the data shows.

The new Arab-American Action Network says it has conducted an analysis of more than 200 police reports from the State Police and the Chicago Police Department.

They say suspicious activity reports have shown that Arabs and Muslims are disproportionately targeted, accounting for more than half of all such reports between 2016 and 2020.

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The group held a protest rally on Friday in Federal Plaza. They specifically call the campaign “If you see something, say something”.

“Once you see that over 50% of Suspicious Activity Reports are filed against people identified as Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern or dark-skinned, being monitored and targeted for everyday activities such as taking pictures around town , confide in their counselors at school or even just speaking Arabic,” said a community leader.

The groups say the United States government has been collecting data on Arabs and Muslims and storing that information for decades.

Illinois State Police did not comment specifically on the report, but said they do not store information about individuals or groups without “reasonable suspicion.”