RESOLUTION SUPPORTING CREATION OF A CITIZENS' ADVISORY GROUP TO THE PHILADELPHIA POLICE COMMISSIONER
WHEREAS, police protection is necessary to the maintenance of an orderly society;
WHEREAS, the recent riots in Los Angeles following the acquittals in the Rodney King case demonstrate that our communities require effective policing which is based on a cooperative relationship between police and the citizens they protect;
WHEREAS, in our own city, notwithstanding efforts by the Police Department to improve police-community relations, the Police Department received 451 complaints in 1991[fn1];
WHEREAS, the city expended $7,013,000 in 1991 and $5,094,000 in 1990 as a result of complaints and litigation against police [fn2];
WHEREAS, a violent confrontation erupted between Philadelphia police officers and demonstrators, including members of the AIDS activist group ACT UP, during a visit of President George Bush to Center City Philadelphia on September 12, 1991;
WHEREAS, on September 18, 1991, then-Police Commissioner Willie L. Williams appointed a Citizens' Advisory Group to review and investigate incidents between demonstrators and the police on September 12, 1991;
WHEREAS, after a thorough investigation, the Advisory Group Report forwarded recommendations to the Police Department, including the establishment of a permanent advisory board empowered to investigate and evaluate issues of public concern such as the September 12 incident;
WHEREAS, procedures for civilian review of citizen complaints exist in 30 of the 50 largest cities in the United States, including New York, Houston, Chicago, San Francisco and the District of Columbia [fn3];
WHEREAS, after assisting the Police Department for two years with strategic planning, the Citizens Crime Commission of the Delaware Valley in an April 29, 1992, letter to then-Commissioner Williams recommends that the Department institute a Citizens/Police Advisory Commission to review and evaluate issues of public concern relating to police conduct and make recommendations to the Police Commissioner;
WHEREAS, the American Civil Liberties Union, Consumers' Education & Protective Association, Fellowship Commission, National Congress of Puerto Rican Rights, Norris Square Civic Association, Pennsylvania Prison Society, Philadelphia Lesbian and Gay Task Force, Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, Tenants' Action Group and Women Organized Against Rape have endorsed the formation of a permanent citizens advisory group to the Police Department;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association shall take all appropriate actions to make its position known to the Police Department and to the general public;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Bar Association authorizes the Chancellor to appoint individuals to participate in a coalition of groups supporting the creation of a permanent citizen and police Advisory Group and to make periodic reports to the Board of Governors on the coalition's research and recommendations concerning the duties, powers and organization of the Advisory Group.
1. Philadelphia Police Department, Internal Affairs Division, Strategies and Action Plans at 3 (May, 1992).
2. Id. at 9. 3. S. Walker & V. Bumphus, Civilian Review of the Police: A National Survey of the 50 Largest Cities, 1991 at 7 (April, 1991).
PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: May 28, 1992