A chapter of Black Lives Matter in Philadelphia had a surprise gift for what some have been calling overly handsy cops.
On Tuesday, several activists delivered two pairs of men’s underwear to the Philadelphia Police Department as a way or protesting the “stop-and-fondle” searches law enforcement in the area has been using.
Activist Asa Khalif, in a Facebook Live video, spoke out against the stop-and-frisk tactics that have been used to search inside of people’s pants to search their underwear. He called it sexual assault.
A second video was made where activists confront police officers outside of their headquarters.
“It is illegal to stop and frisk. It is illegal to go into someone’s underwear and touch their penis, touch their buttocks,” he stated in the video. “You think it’s common practice and it’s legal, but it’s not.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News were the ones to expose the practice that are being allegedly used primarily on black men. They reported that these searches go against current police policy and state law and to compound the issue the police department does not keep a record of how often the practice is used.
According to the ACLU, even though these searches are against the law, the police in Philadelphia keep stopping and frisking pedestrians based on their race.
In the latter half of 2016, 77 percent of those stopped and frisked were black or Latinx and this group only makes up approximately half of the city’s population overall.
“This report shows a continuing pattern of significant racial disparities in stops and frisks in Philadelphia that are not explained by non-racial factors such as crime rates or police deployment,” said attorney David Rudovsky.
“Racial justice must be more than a goal. It is the hallmark of fair policing and the requirement of the consent decree.”
Invasive searches are only legally permitted when done in a police building or medical center and even then only after the person has been arrested. Police who want to conduct these searches need to have a high-ranking supervisor’s permission in writing and there must be reasonable suspicion that contraband is being hidden in or around those areas of the body.
Yet, these searches are continuing.
Khalif and some other local activists have come together to fund trauma counseling for those who have had these searches forced upon them.
“This is why we continue to fight in the Black Lives Matter movement,” he said in the video. “We do not accept the s**t that is happening in our communities. We’re not going to tolerate racist ass police officers attacking black and brown people.”
Protesting the Roundhouse Part 2.
Posted by Asa Khalif on Tuesday, May 30, 2017