Episode 2: The targets

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A Philadelphia police cruiser is parked between Arch and Market streets in West Philadelphia

A Philadelphia police cruiser is parked between Arch and Market streets in West Philadelphia on April 2, 2021. (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

“Stop and Frisk: Revisit or Resist,” a podcast produced by WHYY and Temple University’s Logan Center for Urban Investigative Reporting at the Klein College of Media and Communication, looks at how the controversial policing practice has reentered discussions about public safety in light of Philadelphia’s ongoing gun violence crisis.

The disputed policing practice has been implemented in Philadelphia with varying degrees of vigor for decades. Analyses of Philadelphia stops show that Black men are typically the targets.

In recent months, Black political leaders and activists have brought up the policy as a solution to the city’s gun violence crisis, and specifically as a way to address the number of young, Black men carrying firearms. According to a report from the city’s 100 Shooting Review Committee, four in five arrestees for shootings are Black, and most are between the ages of 18 and 30.

While some older Black Philadelphians are calling for more visible enforcement of the policy, the perspectives of young people are often left out of the conversation. Episode two, “The targets,” explores the fear and trauma that young, Black Philadelphians experience and how that contributes to gun violence.

“I feel like protecting mine and everything that I work for is important, and I feel like the only way I can do that is by matching fire with fire,” said Tyrone White, 23. “I’ve been in situations where I can’t even sit in my car without looking over my shoulders, making sure I’m okay … So I guess you can call it PTSD or whatever, but it’s not a good feeling at all. It’s really not.”

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