Philly sees 'significant reduction' in stop-and-frisk numbers. But is it good enough?

Cherri Gregg
November 25, 2018 - 4:00 am
Stop and Frisk



PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The ACLU of Pennsylvania has filed its latest report on the City of Philadelphia's use of stop and frisk. There's been progress, but there's more work to do.

When the class action was filed in 2011, the Philadelphia Police Department was conducting an estimated 250,000 pedestrian stops. In 2018, it's projected that number will hover around 90,000.

"That's a significant reduction," said civil rights attorney David Rudovsky. "The quality of stops is getting better, but we started at a desperately bad point."

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Rudovsky is one of the lawyers representing the plaintiff class. He says the Kenney administration has stepped up significantly to decrease stop and frisks to better report data and to implement accountability within the police department. But according to new data, which covered the first half of 2018, thousands are still being stopped illegally.

"The bad stop rate is running around 15 percent," he said, "but that's still 6,000 people."

The data shows 30 percent of frisks were conducted without reasonable suspicion. And that 80 percent of stops and 87 percent of the frisks were of African-Americans and Latinos, which make up roughly 56 percent of the population. 

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement, "The findings demonstrate clearly that the reforms instituted by Police Commissioner Ross since January of 2016 are leading to true progress."