Thursday, July 12, 2012
From the New York Times:
A year after they settled litigation by agreeing to institute a host of safeguards to make sure police stops were conducted legally, they say they are simply doing what is needed to make sure that aggressive crime fighting is accompanied by a respect for civil rights. As part of the agreement, the Police Department has set up an electronic database to track the legality of stops, adopted new training protocols and accepted oversight by an independent monitor.
Philadelphia’s willingness to put police procedures under the microscope has won praise even from the civil rights lawyers who in 2010 filed a class-action lawsuit, accusing police officers of disproportionately stopping African-American and Hispanic men without sufficient cause.
Yet finding the right balance has not been easy. City officials have watched in frustration as homicides have continued to climb. As of late Tuesday, 189 people had been killed in the city this year, compared with 169 at the same time in 2011.