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Concern Mounts in Philly That Mayor is Reviving Stop-and-Frisks

Philadelphia Mayor Cherelle Parker pledged, during her campaign, to make the city safer by any legal means necessary – even if it meant ramping up the controversial use of stop-and-frisk policing, allowing officers to detain and pat someone down for investigative purposes. Of course, many candidates make pledges about the lengths they’ll go to tamp down crime. But since Parker took office in January, she and Police Commissioner Kevin Bethel have mostly sidestepped questions on how stop-and-frisk will factor into their law enforcement initiatives. Given Philadelphia’s history with policing gun violence – that led to a consent decree limiting stop-and-frisks -- community members say that they’re concerned about what they’ll see in the mayor’s public safety plan, slated to be released later this month, the Trace reports.

In January, in the wake of the first fatal police shooting of Parker’s tenure, it seemed as though stop-and-frisk had already increased. At a corner store, an officer was shot in the leg, prompting his partner, Officer Raheem Hall, to fatally shoot 28-year-old Alexander Spencer. In the store’s surveillance footage, Hall appears to begin patting Spencer’s clothing before Spencer begins resisting, prompting both officers to grab at him before all three fall to the ground. Was the clash the result of an illegal stop?


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