Philadelphia Council President Calls for the Return of Stop and Frisk

Is stop-and-frisk coming to Philadelphia?

Big League Politics previously reported on the city of Philadelphia’s alarming level of crime. This has prompted the Philadelphia City Council to reexamine the police tactic of stop-and-frisk, which consists of police stopping and sometimes searching pedestrians or drivers when they engage in suspicious behavior.

Such a move came about as the city is going through an alarming gun violence wave and a controversial shooting of two police officers at a July 4 celebration.

“We have a lot of citizens in the streets of Philadelphia talking about ‘When are we going to look at stop-and-frisk in a constitutionally enacted way?’” Council President Darrell L. Clarke stated.

Clarke’s proposal received an unenthusiastic response from Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney. The Philadelphia Mayor’s reluctance to embrace stop-and-frisk could be explained by the fact that he ran a mayoral campaign to halt illegal police stops.

Philadelphia’s previously muscular approach to policing was perceived as “racially biased” and “often legally groundless” according to a report by The Morning Call

On July 27, 2022 Kenney stated that he was “not willing to bring that back,” and described stop-and-frisk as “just randomly going through [people’s] pockets.”

“Those were old police tactics that put us in a situation that kind of made a confrontation between our communities and our Police Department,” Kenney stated. “If [Clarke] could define what he’s actually talking about, maybe we could have a conversation.”

In the past fall, the Philadelphia City Council passed a law prohibiting law enforcement stopping drivers for low-level traffic violations such as expired tags or broken taillights. This move was justified on the grounds that it would reduce racial disparities with regards to car stops. 

Stop-and-frisk was notably used in New York City, Philadelphia, and other prominent urban centers. This tactic was controversial largely due to its racial disparities.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg used this strategy, which he argued was a key factor behind the city’s falling crime rate at the time.

However, in 2013, a federal judge ruled that Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy was in violation of the constitutional rights black and Hispanic residents of New York City. The judged called it “a policy of indirect racial profiling.”

Following his failed attempt to attain the Democratic Party nomination, Bloomberg apologized for supporting stop-and-frisk. 

“I was wrong,” he stated. “And I am sorry.”

While there are valid critics of stop-and-frisk, it’s clear that cities such as Philadelphia are going through a nasty crime wave, largely the product of lax criminal justice policies. 

The primary culprit here is District Attorney Larry Krasner, who is funded by George Soros and has gained notoriety for his pro-criminal policies that allow for criminals to get back on the streets and wreak havoc. 

Ultimately, responsible policing and the promotion of lawful gun ownership are needed to solve the crime problems of America’s urban centers. The present soft-on-crime model is dangerously negligent and has done nothing but decimate many of America’s once respectable cities. 

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