September 22, 2021

For a decade, the ACLU-PA has been part of the team monitoring how the Philadelphia police use stops and frisks of pedestrians on city streets. The monitoring process stems from the settlement of a 2010 lawsuit brought against the city by ten Black and Latinx men who were illegally stopped on account of their race.

While there's been progress in the ten years since the settlement, thousands of people are illegally stopped without legal justification every year, and racial disparities in who gets stopped remain.

On August 1, the Philadelphia police implemented a new pilot program, under court order, in the city's 14th police district, which covers parts of Northwest Philly. In this program, police do not stop and detain people who are committing any of one of a long list of minor offenses. They simply ask them to stop the activity and move along.

In this episode, we hear from Mary Catherine Roper, deputy legal director of the ACLU-PA, and Frederick Bates, a community ambassador for ACLU-PA who is helping to get the word out to residents about the new program. Ultimately, the goal is for this program to go citywide.

To learn more, visit