Councilman Burgess Initiates Bill to Increase Police Accountability

16 Feb

 

 

 

 

 

February 16, 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: civilpittsburgh@gmail.com

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess is proposed Bill 2010-0234 to city council which would require police officers to keep records tracking the race, gender, and age of individuals involved in a police stop and would release that data to the public in an annual report.  In recent years community police relations have deteriorated, especially in Burgess’ own ninth ward, which includes Pittsburgh’s East Liberty and Homewood.  Last night Burgess, along with councilpersons Theresa Kail-Smith, and Bruce Kraus, discussed the legislation with residents and concerned community groups.

Ngani Ndimbi, the community organizer for the ALCU-PA, Pittsburgh chapter commented, “We hope that bringing positive Community-Police relations is the concern of each and every city councilperson. We’re excited to be able to discuss this important piece of legislation tonight.”

The data that the legislation would require officers to obtain and release to the public, is already collected, but not released to the public.   The release of the data to the public would put the Pittsburgh Police in line with many Departments around the country, and could lead to increased police accountability, and stronger community police relations.

“This is not an anti-police bill.  We have to look at this bill as groups and individuals coming together—which includes the police—to promote police-accountability and civil rights in Pittsburgh,” said Todd Wilson the executive director of Civil Pittsburgh.

Don’t hesitate to contact your council person in support of Burgess Bill 2010-0234:

http://www.city.pittsburgh.pa.us/council/

For more information, contact:    

Ngani Ndimbie, Community Organizer
                      ACLU of Pennsylvania, Western Region,  Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 681-7736 x 22; NNdimbie@aclupa.org

   Todd Wilson, Executive Director
                     Civil Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
(717)725-5177; civilpittsburgh@gmail.com

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