Two Philadelphia police officers received an unexpected gift late last month: Men's underwear.
But the skivvies weren't delivered by brazen lovers. Rather, they were part of a clever protest orchestrated by local activists to condemn the department's alleged "stop-and-fondle" practices, as NBC 10 reported.
According to a recent Philadelphia Daily News investigation, the city's officers have allegedly searched the underwear of Black men during traffic and pedestrian stops, which goes against police policy and state law.
After reading the Daily News' report, Asa Khalif and other members of the local Black Lives Matter chapter went to police headquarters on May 30 to protest the practice and deliver the intimate "gifts."
“It is illegal to stop and frisk," Khalif shouted during the protest, which was broadcast on Facebook Live (above). "It is illegal to go into someone’s underwear and touch their penis. Touch their buttocks. You think it’s common practice and it’s legal, but it’s not."
Though overall use of stop-and-frisk searches in Philadelphia has declined in recent years, the American Civil Liberties Union noted in a May report that the city's police stop young Black and Latino men more frequently than any other people.
The video above is from 2013.
Overall, about 77 percent of police stops in 2016 involved Black or Latino pedestrians. (Black and Latino people make up just over 50 percent of Philly's population.)
“We recognize that the city ... has shown improvement, as stops have decreased and legal justification for those stops has increased,” said Mary Catherine Roper, ACLU Pennsylvania's deputy legal director. “But improvement is not the goal. The goal is to treat people fairly and to respect people’s constitutional rights."
Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew told the Daily News that he wasn't aware of any stop-and-frisk complaints against his officers, though he encouraged victims to file one if they felt violated.
But Khalif and his fellow activists are taking a more proactive approach, according to NBC 10: They've volunteered to fund trauma counseling for a group of young men who have undergone stop-and-frisk searches.
"This is why we continue to fight in the Black Lives Matter movement," Khalif said at the protest, as HuffPost reported. “We do not accept the sh*t that is happening in our communities. We’re not going to tolerate racist-*ss police officers attacking Black and brown people.”
You can read the Daily News' investigation into the allegations against Philly police here.