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May 2007
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If it quacks like a duck

Philadelphia’s likely next mayor, Michael Nutter, and Baltimore City Council’s Robert W. Curran, seem to be trying to outdo each other in the pro-authoritarian anti-reason tough-on-crime competition.

Under Curran’s plan, the mayor could declare “public-safety-act zones,” which would allow police to close liquor stores and bars, limit the number of people on city sidewalks, and halt traffic during two-week intervals.
Police would be encouraged to aggressively stop and frisk individuals in those zones to search for weapons and drugs. […]
Nutter’s proposal also calls for curfews in crime-plagued neighborhoods.

Wow. So in what third-world country are the cities of Philadephia and Baltimore? Certainly not the United States. We don’t allow our police to just stop and frisk people for no reason, do we… ?

Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell Jr., a mayoral hopeful, said Curran’s idea was an interesting concept but it raised questions about civil liberties. “We have to make sure we’re not declaring martial law,” he said.

What else would you call it? A block party?

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