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Police officers used sneakers as ‘bait’ in Chicago to entrap Black folks

(Photo Credit: Sistarazzi for Steed Media Service)

Police officers in Chicago allegedly attempted to entrap Black people. According to a video post by Charles McKenzie, police officers placed a truck loaded with Nike Air Force 1 sneakers and Christian Louboutin shoes in a truck in the predominately Black neighborhood of Englewood on the West Side of Chicago.

Known as a “bait truck,” the truck was placed near a basketball court and other predominantly Black areas to lure potential thieves who are eventually arrested.  The truck was spotted by McKenzie who posted the footage on his Facebook page.

In the video, community activists confronted the officers and asked why the bait truck was placed in their neighborhood.

“They’re parking a Nike truck in the community. When you hop in the Nike truck, they’re locking you up,” McKenzie said in the video. Others in the background can be heard saying the police are “inventing crime.”

McKenzie’s footage eventually went viral as people on social media had issues with the police department’s crime-fighting tactics.

Law enforcement has suggested that “bait trucks” are placed in neighborhoods to prevent crime.  From 2007-2012, a TV show called “Bait Car” became a popular reality show on TruTV. However, it was eventually canceled after a controversial case in which a police officer, Anthony Shapiro, failed to issue a suspect his Miranda warning following an arrest.  The case was eventually dropped and the show was viewed by critics as a form of entrapment.

The Chicago Police Department has yet to issue a statement on McKenzie’s video.

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