On November 4, 2010, eight African-American male residents of Philadelphia filled this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia division ("PPD"). The plaintiffs sued the City of Philadelphia and individual police officers under 4 ...
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On November 4, 2010, eight African-American male residents of Philadelphia filled this class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia division ("PPD"). The plaintiffs sued the City of Philadelphia and individual police officers under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Pennsylvania state law. The putative class, represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and private attorneys, sought injunctive and compensatory relief. They claimed that the defendants had illegally stopped and searched thousands of African-American and Latino males solely because of their race in violation of the 4th and 5th Amendments to the United States Constitution.
On June 21, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell entered an order accepting a binding settlement agreement, class certification, and consent decree between the parties and appointed a monitor. The City agreed to train its police officers to use the proper electronic database to record relevant information after each time a subject is stopped and frisked within Philadelphia. The plaintiffs and the defendants also agreed to jointly review current police department training, supervision, and discipline procedures to determine if changes are needed to ensure that stops and frisks only occur where there is probable cause to believe the subject could lawfully be detained. The plaintiffs were to report to the Court the results of periodic reviews of stop data.
The Decree left open the individual damage claim by a named plaintiff, who did not settle. In a November 3, 2011 order, the Court set a jury trial on this issue and on December 20, 2011, judgment was granted in favor of the named plaintiff, who was awarded $50,000.
The Decree was to stay in place until the Court, upon motion of a party, determined that the provisions regarding data foreclosure and analysis, document production, Monitor Reports and Recommendations, and Court review are no longer necessary to ensure that the PPD stop and frisk policies and practices are consistent with constitutional standards.
In the time since the agreement, the plaintiffs and defendants have filed 6 reports each. The plaintiffs' reports address ongoing issues of police misconduct, such as the racial disparities of arrests and the disproportionate number of arrests in certain districts of certain racial makeups. The defendants, in their reports, provide updates on progress and address the concerns raised by the plaintiffs. The most recent report was filed by the plaintiffs on March 22, 2016, concluding that data still showed significant racial disparities in stop-and-frisk that in almost all respects could not be explained by non-racial factors. The case is ongoing. Justin Benson - 07/30/2011
Saeeda Joseph-Charles - 10/23/2016