Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Pittsburgh considers policy that documents 'stop and frisk' encounters

 Pittsburgh City Council is considering a measure that would require city police to document why they are stopping and searching a pedestrian before they do so, reported the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

The measure, introduced Tuesday by Councilman Ricky Burgess, would require officers to use a body-worn camera or vehicle-mounted recording device to document their reasonable suspicion for initiating a “stop-and-frisk” of a pedestrian.

Stop-and-frisk refers to incidents where police stop, search or detain a pedestrian without a warrant.

“The police officers stop-and-frisk disproportionately African Americans,” Burgess said. “Close to 70% of those encounters are with Black people. It creates an atmosphere of intimidation.”

This legislation, he said, would reduce racial profiling in such stops, as officers would have to document a clear reason for initiating the stop.

If the stop-and-frisk does not result in an arrest, the officer would be required to provide the pedestrian with documentation explaining the reasonable suspicion that led to the stop. There will be exceptions to this requirement if “officer safety or confidential requirements” would prevent officers from sharing the information.

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