Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Chicago Police Confronted Over Nike ‘Bait Truck’ Left to Target Black Youth

*Chicago P.D. has come under fire for allegedly entrapping black youth by leaving a “bait truck” filled with Nike shoes in a poor neighborhood near a basketball court where kids were playing.

Local activists and community members confronted a group of police in the city of Englewood over the incident, claiming they left open the “bait truck” in order to lure potential thieves and make arrests.

“Y’all dirty, man,” a man tells officers in an online video of the incident published Thursday. “Y’all see kids playing ball and you pull a f—– Nike truck into the ghetto.”

According to a USA Today report, “both local and federal agencies conduct such “bait” operations, and authorities use everything from fake drugs and modified cars to GPS-affixed packages and bikes to weed out thieves nationwide.”

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But some critics believe bait trucks are an obvious attempt to target black youth.

“The police parked a truck with boxes of Nike shoes in front of kids, lifted up,” said Charles McKenzie, an anti-crime activist who put video of the confrontation on Facebook. “And when people hop in the truck, the police hopping out on them.”

YouTuber Martin G. Johnson also allegedly depicts the bait truck in another video; traveling between locations with “plainsclothes, FBI-looking type guys.” Once parked, he films community members telling authorities to remove the vehicle.

“Kids shouldn’t be breaking back into trucks,” a police officer responds.

After the confrontation, however, the white truck is driven away.

“That’s what advocacy looks like,” one man says. “Good job, people.”

See Johnson’s NSFW video above, and read more on bait operations at Vox.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is a screenwriter and freelance reporter from Chicago -- currently living in Los Angeles and covering A-list entertainment for various outlets, including Emmys.com. She has worked for: Miramax, MTV & VH1, The Jim Henson Company, Hallmark Channel, Paramount Pictures, and for iconic indie film producer Roger Corman.

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