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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 15, 2021 11:17 AM
From: Representative Donna Bullock
To: All House members
Subject: Pretextual Stops Need to Stop
Traffic stops are the most common interaction Americans have with police; but, for Black drivers, these interactions with police can be highly problematic. This is due to the allowance of pretextual stops and the implicit and explicit racial bias police officers often have against Black people. Despite disproportionate stops and searches of people of color, police are significantly less likely to find contraband during these searches than during searches of white drivers.

Many pretextual stops begin due to a minor infraction such as having a headlight out or a hanging object on the rearview mirror but can unfortunately end deadly, as our country has seen time and time again. Numerous city councils and states across America, including our neighboring states and our own city councils, realize the exacerbated danger caused by pretextual stops and are passing legislation to put an end to it. To combat this apparent racial issue, I plan on introducing legislation to curb pretextual stops and to prevent police officers from utilizing a pretextual stop to justify searches in the Commonwealth.

Please join me in addressing the racial disparities in traffic stops and showing all Pennsylvania drivers that their life will not end due to a burnt-out taillight. We cannot see another life lost due to a pretextual stop.

Introduced as HB1361