Philly mayor and police commissioner to attend 'stop and frisk' town hall
A town hall focused around the issue of “stop and frisk” will take place on Friday, April 29, at 7 p.m. at the New Vision United Methodist Church in North Philadelphia. Both Mayor Jim Kenney and Police Commissioner Richard Ross will be there.
Local media company Techbook Online and interfaith network POWER will organize the gathering. Chris Norris, CEO of Techbook Online, said in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine that “Everyone should walk away from this meeting knowing where everyone stands."
— Flood the Drummer (@floodthedrummer) March 31, 2016
Last Tuesday, Commissioner Ross held a press conference in front of the James A. Byrne Courthouse where he discussed the outcome of a meeting with the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania (ACLU) and city representatives about “stop and frisk”.
The ACLU and law firm Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg, LLP, released a report last week. This report is a part of the ongoing monitoring process of the 2011 consent decree in Bailey v. Philadelphia. This was a lawsuit alleging that Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) officers had a pattern and practice of stopping and frisking pedestrians without reasonable suspicion.
“[The judge] had some concerns as we had expected, despite our third quarter numbers in our pedestrian investigation, which we do not disagree with and we have since then put measures in place to improve upon this, many that we have outlined with the judge,” said Ross. “He seemed very happy with the steps that we have taken thus far.”
As far as accountability goes, Ross said that commanders will have to answer for pedestrian stops, and there would be an increase in auditing reports on “stop and frisks” daily instead of monthly.
Earlier this month, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney visited AL DÍA News for a conversation with the editorial board to discuss details of his proposed $4.17 billion budget, while also touching upon the issue of Stop and Frisk.
Kenney stated that stop and frisk would not end entirely.
“...What we are going to stop is the random stopping of people, Latinos and African Americans, on the street and the cop asking ‘what are you doing here?’ and making them empty their bag and empty their pockets,” Kenney said. “There is a balance between crime fighting and being oppressive."