Philadelphia Police Commissioner Defends ‘Stop & Frisk' as Mayoral Candidates Speak Out Against It

Philadelphia Police have stopped thousands and frisked hundreds without probable cause, according to multiple reports produced by PPD and obtained by the NBC 10 Investigators.

According to the latest statistics, from January to June 2014, 941 or 37 percent of Philadelphia police stops were made without reasonable suspicion. Police recovered contraband 58 times, including five guns according to the data based on those 941 stops.

The internal police data shows police frisked 168 of those stopped without reasonable suspicion.

The police tactic known simply as "stop and frisk" has been used as a campaign issue in current the race for Philadelphia mayor. All six democratic candidates said they would end ‘stop and frisk’ in Philadelphia -- a stark contrast to the Nutter administration’s support of the tactic.

“There’s a difference between campaigning and governing and whoever is successful will soon find that out,” Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said in response to the candidates’ positions.

Critics say "stop and frisk" leads to disproportionate policing while supporters say it targets areas in need of police protection and oversight. Census data and police statistics show while roughly half of Philadelphia’s population is black or Hispanic, 80 percent of those stopped and 89 percent of those frisked by police were minorities.

“These are communities that need police. What they need however is police service not police oppression,” Pennsylvania American Civil Liberties Union attorney Mary Catherine Roper said.

The Pennsylvania ACLU sued Philadelphia over police use of "stop and frisk."

Commissioner Ramsey said "stop and frisk" keeps officers, and the communities they police, safe when performed constitutionally. A Nutter administration spokesman said it reduces crime.

“The reality is we have a lot of gun violence and gun crime in our city and anyone who doesn’t recognize that is not paying attention,” Ramsey said.

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