NORTH CHICAGO, Ill. (AP) – The North Chicago Police Department is being criticized for a brochure that some say is peppered with stereotypes of African-Americans.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the brochure, given to participants in the North Chicago Citizen Police Academy last week, features a smiling African-American man handcuffed in an orange prison jumpsuit, with another portrayed as bug-eyed and slack-jawed in a mug shot.
There is also a page with a picture of comedian Dave Chappelle appearing as Tyrone Biggums, the stumbling junkie character he created for his Comedy Central show.
Lake County NAACP president Jennifer Witherspoon said the handout reinforces “every negative stereotype blacks as a people have been fighting against.”
Lake County State’s Attorney Mike Nerheim calls the handout “incredibly disturbing.”
The brochure’s cover features Nerheim opposite Tom Cruise as a military defense attorney from the film “A Few Good Men.” The brochure also has pictures of television TV cop Barney Fife, Judge Judy and Lindsay Lohan, big-bellied white police officers and acquitted murder defendant Casey Anthony.
“Unprofessional is probably the nicest way to put it,” Nerheim said. “It was obviously done without my knowledge and consent. I definitely see how it could be offensive to people. It’s not something that should be coming out of the Police Department.”
Nerheim said he called North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham about the handout.
Rockingham said the two academy participants he talked to about the circular were split, with one saying they didn’t find it offensive, the other saying it could be taken the wrong way.
North Chicago Police Chief James Jackson is calling the handout an ill-considered attempt at humor.
“We should have caught it,” said Jackson.
However, local activist Ralph Peterson says the brochure raises “another red flag” on the North Chicago police.
“It’s more bad judgment. For officers to pass out a pamphlet like this screams a need for sensitivity and that this department is not capable of policing the black community,” he said, pointing to a police brutality case that has the department snared in a federal wrongful-death lawsuit.
Academy student Paula Carballido, of North Chicago, said an officer explained the images were taken from movies and TV and were not meant to offend. She said the course, which offers an in-depth view of law enforcement procedures, was informative and “respectful.”
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered