City of Philadelphia reaches an agreement regarding Stop & Frisk
implementation and evaluation.
Philadelphia, June 21, 2011 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter has signed two significant Executive Orders aimed at enhancing the public’s trust in their law enforcement public servants by updating the procedures that citizens can use to file complaints against police officers and by establishing new procedures to track and audit citizens held in temporary investigative detention.
The order related to investigative detention, both pedestrian and vehicular investigative detentions, frisks and searches, is part of a settlement of a lawsuit, Bailey v. City of Philadelphia, filed in U.S. District Court last November.
“Philadelphia’s police officers are the best trained law enforcement agency in the nation. Today’s announcement makes certain that their actions are held to a high standard,” said Mayor Nutter. “These procedural changes are being implemented because we have a Police Commissioner who values a transparent and accountable Police Department. I signed two executive orders that will ensure that the Department will continually review and evaluate their policies.”
The first executive order signed by Mayor Nutter will establish an electronic database so all Department Pedestrian Investigation Reports (75-48A) can be entered into a searchable computer system. The computer database will be established to support increased monitoring and audits of investigative detentions, frisks and searches. Additionally, the PPD will prepare and issue an annual report detailing the results of the audit.
The Mayor also signed an executive order that updates the processing of complaints alleging police misconduct including the investigation, review and disposition of complaints. Citizens Complaint Reports (CCR) will be made available on the PPD’s website and at Districts. Complaints of criminal misconduct and serious non-criminal misconduct shall be referred by the Commissioner to the District Attorney’s Office and the Police Board of Inquiry as necessary.
“I am fully supportive of these measures and welcome outside review,” said Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey. “It is not only our responsibility as law enforcement officers to uphold the constitutional rights for all people; it is the foundation of the oath to which we swear. These measures today will help ensure that the Department is providing the highest quality of police service possible.”
In Bailey v. City of Philadelphia filed on November 4, 2010, the plaintiffs allege stop & frisk temporary detentions were in violation of the 14th Amendment.
The parties have agreed to implement the above measures to confirm that stops and frisks by the PPD are conducted consistent with constitutional mandates. All parties recognized the need for (1) diligent law enforcement in the City of Philadelphia, (2) the proper use and implementation of stop and frisk practices and policies as instrumental in legitimate police practices, and (3) compliance with the requirements and mandates of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and to Article I, Sections 1 and 8 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.
The City of Philadelphia and plaintiffs agree to the following responses and procedural changes:
• All Philadelphia police officers will carry definition cards explaining standards for Terry stops and “stop and frisk” searches. Definitions are in conformity with legal standards and MPO training materials. [Terry refers to the 1968 U.S. Supreme Court case, Terry v. Ohio in which the Court held that brief, investigatory stops are legal].
• By January 1, 2012, the PPD will have the capability of entering all stop reports (75-48A’s) into an electronic database for more efficient management review and analysis.
• The PPD has developed and implemented automated audit procedures to analyze the stop reports (75-48A) prepared by PPD Officers and provide a reasonable assurance that the stops made by PPD Officers are compliant with policy and the United States and Pennsylvania constitutions.
• Divisional and Special Unit Inspectors have been trained to perform the “75-48A Audits” and an Audit Guide has been developed to ensure consistency in the review and analysis of the stop reports.
• These Inspectors will produce quarterly reports on the outcomes of each audit. The Inspector’s Audits shall then be subject to an independent audit by the Internal Affairs Unit to ensure quality controls, consistency, and to identify any aberrant patterns or trends.
• The PPD publication Legally Speaking titled “Revisiting Stop & Frisk” has been distributed to all Districts and is available to all police officers.
• Dean JoAnne Epps of the Temple University Beasley School of Law has been appointed by the parties as an Independent Outside Auditor who will conduct analysis and audit all proposals and procedures and will have the authority to recommend additional policies, practices and procedures to ensure compliance.
• The City of Philadelphia has provided plaintiffs’ counsel with 75-48A forms from selected periods during the years 2006 – 2010 so counsel can analyze historic patterns and trends and offer recommendations and additional improvements in training and the review process.
“I am honored to accept this assignment, which will provide an exciting opportunity for law students to assist me in working with real issues of criminal justice. I look forward to working with the parties to ensure effective law enforcement that is consistent with the requirements of our Constitution,” said Dean JoAnne Epps of the Temple University Beasley School of Law.
David Rudovsky of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg, LLP added, “We are very pleased that the Plaintiffs and the City have settled the pending “stop and frisk” lawsuit under terms which, if followed by the Police Department, will ensure that police stops and frisks of persons in Philadelphia will not be conducted on the basis of race or ethnicity, and will only be conducted where there is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. We believe that the terms of the Agreement, which requires specific training and supervision of officers, careful auditing of all stops and frisks by the Department, the plaintiffs’ lawyers, and a court appointed Monitor, and judicial oversight by United States District Judge Stewart Dalzell, will serve to protect basic constitutional rights, while permitting the police to engage in proper investigative methods.”