City Council on Monday continued debate about a measure that would prohibit Pittsburgh police from pulling people over for minor, secondary violations.
Though council was originally scheduled to vote on the legislation Monday, members delayed the final until next Tuesday at the request of Councilman Anthony Coghill, who has repeatedly voiced concerns about the proposal.
The legislation, introduced by City councilman Ricky Burgess in early November, would prohibit police from pulling over a driver for minor, secondary offenses, including:
- Having a burned-out brake light or headlight.
- Having an improperly displayed license plate or temporary tag, as long as it is visible.
- Having a registration, inspection or emissions sticker that is expired by less than two months
Supporters have said the measure would address a disproportionate number of traffic stops involving people of color and reduce the likelihood of traffic stops escalating into violent incidents.
Councilman Bobby Wilson pointed to statistics provided by the city’s Crime Analysis Unit that showed that in 2016, more than 80% of people who were pulled over for secondary violations and then arrested for other charges were Black. By 2021, he said, that number jumped to 100%.
“I know this isn’t going to solve the whole issue of disparity,” he said. “We should look into why that’s happening, and I think that’s a good start.