By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Civil rights groups have released a report analyzing data on the number of police stop and frisks in Philadelphia. The groups say tens of thousands of minorities are being stopped illegally.READ MORE: Philadelphia Students Finding Comfort In Rec Centers Again Amid Gun Violence Epidemic
According to the 47-page report prepared by the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia police made 200,000 pedestrian stops in 2014, but nearly 40 percent of those stops were not legally justified. And nearly 40 percent of the frisks were also illegal.
“Unless there is very decisive change, we will ask the court to intervene and impose sanctions,” says Dave Rudovsky of the law firm Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg LLP, co-author of the report. He and his firm joined the ACLU in the suit 2010 lawsuit against the city and have been monitoring the city’s stop and frisk practices for the past three years. Rudovsky says despite the department’s implementation of a new electronic database and retraining officers, data shows there’s still clear evidence of racial profiling.
“The stops and frisks are over 80 percent, 90 percent Blacks and Latinos,” he says, “and three years into monitoring, the improvements have been negligible.READ MORE: 'I Thought I Was Done': Residents Of Trevose Mobile Home Park Pick Up The Pieces After EF-3 Tornado
Rudovsky says the city must employ measures to hold officers accountable if real change is going to happen.
“Where there are officers and districts with high rates of stops, there needs to be accountability,” he says.
The city has 30 days to respond to the report. Mark McDonald, press secretary for Mayor Michael Nutter, wrote this email to KYW Newsradio in response to the report:
“This case is in litigation and it’s Administration policy to respond to a legal filing, in this case the Fifth Report, through the court system. The city has 30 days within which to respond and we will do so as quickly as practical. The City as a signatory to the consent decree strives to cooperate fully with the plaintiff and the court in this matter.”MORE NEWS: Pirates' Crowe, 2 Relievers 1-Hit Phillies, End 4-Game Skid