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There Is Hope For Philadelphia – Minor Violation Will Not Result In A Police Stop

In the Summer of 2021, Philadelphia passed a new law regarding when the police can stop a vehicle. The data was clear. The police were stopping a disproportionate amount of black drivers for minor traffic offenses when compared to other skin colors. That meant if you were a black driver with a broken brake light, you were almost guaranteed to be stopped and potentially searched. When this occurred, the data showed that very few of these stops even lead to finding illegal contraband, such as drugs or guns. It was clear racial profiling was happening and it needed to end. In a step in the right direction, a new law was signed last Summer stating that the police could no longer stop any individual for minor offenses, such as a broken brake light. Instead, if the police stopped you for something more, such as running a red light, and you happened to have a brake light out, only then could you receive the ticket. The hope is that these illegal searches and profiling will end. It is more likely it will not end, but at least it is a step in the right direction to start changing the mindset of those making the decision to stop a driver. More change is needed, but as we all know, change takes time and often baby steps. At least someone is doing something in Philly.