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File #: 2021-2174    Version:
Type: Ordinance Status: Passed Finally
File created: 11/8/2021 In control: Committee on Public Safety Services
On agenda: 12/28/2021 Final action: 12/28/2021
Enactment date: 12/28/2021 Enactment #: 69
Effective date: 12/30/2021    
Title: Ordinance amending and supplementing the Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances, Title Five: Traffic, Article One: Administration, Chapter 503: Enforcement and Control, by adding a new section, Section 503.17: "Equitable and Fair Enforcement of Motor Vehicle Laws."
Sponsors: Reverend Ricky V. Burgess, Bruce A. Kraus, Bobby Wilson, R. Daniel Lavelle, Erika Strassburger
Indexes: PGH. CODE ORDINANCES TITLE 05 - TRAFFIC
Title
Ordinance amending and supplementing the Pittsburgh Code of Ordinances, Title Five: Traffic, Article One: Administration, Chapter 503: Enforcement and Control, by adding a new section, Section 503.17: "Equitable and Fair Enforcement of Motor Vehicle Laws."

Body
Whereas, in a recent series published by the New York Times, "Why So Many Police Traffic Stops Turn Deadly", the authors state: "Traffic stops are by far the most common police encounters with civilians..."; and,

Whereas, this series went further to state: "'All you've heard are horror stories about what could happen,' said Sarah Mooney, assistant police chief in West Palm Beach. 'It is very difficult to try to train that out of somebody.' The overemphasis on danger has fostered tolerance for police misconduct at vehicle stops, some argue..."; and,

Whereas, a group of researchers posited, in a report published in Nature: Human Behavior, that "Our results indicate that police stops and search decisions suffer from persistent racial bias and point to the value of policy interventions to mitigate these disparities." Pierson, E., Simoiu, C., Overgoor, J. et al. A large-scale analysis of racial disparities in police stops across the United States. Nat Hum Behav 4, 736-745 (2020).; and,

Whereas, this same report found that, "Applied to our data, the threshold test indicates that black and Hispanic drivers were searched on the basis of less evidence than white drivers, both on the subset of searches carried out by state patrol agencies and on those carried out by municipal Bureau of Polices."; and,

Whereas, many of these traffic stops are conducted on the basis of "secondary" violations of the Motor Vehicle Code, such as temporary registration permits being affixed to the wrong side of the rear window, a single burnt-out headlamp or taillamp bulbs, etc.; and,

Whereas, other municipalities, noting these and other disparities in traffic and motor vehicle enforcement, have begun changing their enforce...

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