The settlement of the dispute in Philadelphia
In December 2023, the city council in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, set a national precedent by establishing a ban on ski masks. According to leaders within the community, the accessory was used primarily to hide the identity of individuals involved in criminal activities.
Now, The Shadow Room Justin Carter examines whether, why, and how the ban is being enforced by local authorities.
This is how Philly’s ski mask ban came about
COVID-19, the global pandemic that hit the world in 2020, prompted widespread wearing of face masks. But, according to Carter, a rapper Pooh Shiesty apparently it inspired the world to kick the accessory up a notch.
The rapper was famous for wearing a ski mask that covered not only his mouth but his whole head, leaving only his eyes for public view. However, the movement that Shiesty set ahead of his prison in 2021 may have raised issues across the country.
In September 2022, five masked men shot into a crowd at a junior varsity football game. According to Carter, a fourteen-year-old boy was killed and four others were wounded. In 2023, a masked man shot and killed a 15-year-old student on a city bus. In addition, later that year, a man in a ski mask and body armor left five people dead and two injured.
According to the statement, the use of the accessory made solving the crimes in good time much more difficult for authorities. This led the city council to impose its ban on ski masks in public cities.
Is the ban legal? Is it implemented?
According to Carter, the new legislation has prompted many to question whether the accessory ban is legal. Does it prevent crime, and how is it enforced? Those are just some of the other questions the ban has raised.
In addition, Carter spoke to Ernest OwensEditor-At-Large for Philadelphia Magazine, for his initial response to the ban.
“A Shiesty? How is this mask really banned. How is this?” Owens told Carter. “Is there any research on this? Is there any data? As there is nothing to support the idea of a crime.”
During his research, Carter noted that he could not establish a link between the increase in crime and the rise in popularity of ski masks.
Scroll above to see how Justin Carter talks to those planning to implement the legislation and examines how the ban has affected crime.
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