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The mayors of these other big cities better take note.

A Philadelphia police patrol car sits parked in North Philad

Source: Bloomberg / Getty

For the better part of 2020 there were calls from activists, protesters, even journalists to “defund the police”. That mantra became very controversial during that time and especially around election time where Democrats lost races and blamed the divisiveness of the call-to-action for souring public support. The impetus for this was the continued and public abuse of murder of innocent Black people. In several cases, this violence against these innocent Black bodies began with an “innocuous” traffic stop that ended brutality.

Fortunately, according to CNN, one city has the sack to actually do something about it, or at the very least try. The city of Philadelphia is now the first major city in the United States to outright BAN police officers from pulling people over for “low-level” traffic offenses like not having an illuminated license plate, window tint, and other minor infractions that don’t necessitate a police interaction. The Driving Equality Bill passed almost unanimously at the City Council with a 14-2 vote according to the report. The legislation will categorize motor vehicle violations as “primary” and “secondary” the latter of which will no longer be cause for a traffic stop. Studies show that Black drivers are targeted for traffic stops at significantly higher rates than other groups of people.

Councilmember Isaiah Thomes spoke to why he authored this bill:

“I am humbled by every person who told my office of the humiliation and trauma experienced in some of these traffic stops,” Thomas said. “To many people who look like me, a traffic stop is a rite of passage — we pick out cars, we determine routes, we plan our social interactions around the fact that it is likely that we will be pulled over by police.”
Other smaller cities and states have also taken similar measures but nothing like this has ever been enacted in a major U.S. city. We highly suggest that you bring this story to your local city council and insist that they institute laws like the Driving Equity Bill.
We need the trend to catch on.


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