When City Councilmember Michael Nutter was elected mayor in 2008, stop-and-frisk became a core part of the Philadelphia Police Department’s crime-fighting policy. He declared a crime emergency and called for the aggressive use of stop-and-frisk. It didn’t take long for the policing tactic to draw scrutiny.
In November 2010, the ACLU of Pennsylvania, along with civil rights attorneys, sued the city of Philadelphia in federal court. By June of the following year, the city had entered into a settlement agreement and consent decree. Over time, that agreement has resulted in the number of illegal stops significantly declining, but racial disparities have persisted. As the city continues to deal with a frightful gun violence crisis, some city officials have floated the idea of revisiting stop-and-frisk.
P.O.C., a partner in WHYY’s News and Information Community Exchange, hit the streets to survey residents’ attitudes and opinions on the matter.