In recent years, public trust in our country’s law enforcement agencies has plummeted as numerous incidents involving police brutality and misconduct have been reported in cities throughout the country. Philadelphia is among those cities to be known for having a police department that is plagued by systemic corruption and wrongdoing.
Philadelphia has an eviction problem. There were 22,573 cases filed in landlord-tenant court in 2016, and the majority of tenants are simply unable to hire legal counsel to represent them. In fact, 92 percent of tenants represented themselves – 6.7 percent received pro bono help from private attorneys and 1.5 percent were able to afford their own legal aid.
From the first day they put on their badges and many days thereafter, police officers throughout the United States recite the The Law Enforcement Oath of Honor. Key passages of the oath include a promise to "never betray my badge" and "always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions." Sadly, as many Philadelphia residents know, this oath is betrayed by some police officers on a daily basis.
Regardless of sex, race, age or socio-economic class, as Americans, we all have basic civil rights. Among these rights is the right to be protected from unreasonable and unlawful searches and seizures by the government or governmental agency actors-- including police officers.
They say that a picture is worth 1,000 words and this statement is particularly true when it comes to video recordings of police stops, encounters and arrests. In recent years, we've been reminded numerous times of just how beneficial these recordings can be when it comes to determining cases of alleged police misconduct and brutality.
In the United States, prisoners within the correctional systems are owed certain rights. It doesn't matter if they have admitted to and been convicted of a crime. It doesn't matter if a prisoner pleaded guilty to the most serious of crimes; prisoners are human and residents within this land of the free.