High number of fruitless searches of Hispanics’ vehicles cited as evidence of bias
January 06, 2011 | By Dan Hinkel and Joe Mahr, Tribune reporters, Keri Wiginton, Chicago Tribune
Drug-sniffing dogs can give police probable cause to root through cars by the roadside, but state data show the dogs have been wrong more often than they have been right about whether vehicles contain drugs or paraphernalia.
The dogs are trained to dig or sit when they smell drugs, which triggers automobile searches. But a Tribune analysis of three years of data for suburban departments found that only 44 percent of those alerts by the dogs led to the discovery of drugs or paraphernalia.
For Hispanic drivers, the success rate was just 27 percent.