Philadelphia City Council Bans Ski Masks in Public Places

( – Philadelphia’s liberal city council has just passed a ban on wearing ski masks in public places. The move follows a surge in criminals wearing face coverings, including several murders committed by masked gunmen. The council hopes the new law will make it easier for cops to identify lawbreakers—but the far left is already complaining that it’s racist.

Over the last year or so, Philadelphia has been hit by a wave of crimes perpetrated by masked assailants. In one of the most shocking events last September, five gunmen with their faces covered opened fire on a football crowd, killing a 14-year-old boy. Another masked killer murdered five people and injured two more this July. A 15-year-old was gunned down by a masked assailant on a city bus in May. Police say it’s hard to solve crimes when the perpetrators’ faces are hidden. On November 30, the city council took action.

Under the new law, sponsored by Councilmember Anthony Phillips (D), it will become illegal to wear a ski mask or similar face covering in public places, including schools, public transport, parks, or city-owned buildings. Violators will be fined $250, but not charged with an offense. Anyone caught wearing a ski mask while they commit a crime will be hit with a much heavier $2,000 fine. Phillips, a devout Christian, says he’s spoken to police who’re concerned that they can’t solve crimes because the perpetrators can’t be identified from camera images.

Given the circumstances, the law seems sensible, but not everyone backs it. The council voted it through 13-2, meaning it now goes to the mayor for signature, but councilmembers Kendra Brooks and Jamie Gauthier voted against it. Brooks said it was “putting legislation on the books for a certain population” to “victimize” them. It isn’t clear what population Brooks was talking about, unless she meant criminals, but the ACLU was more upfront.

Spokesman Solomon Worlds called the law “fundamentally unfair” and said it was dangerous to “young people of color.” Worlds also complained that there’s no evidence to suggest ski masks cause crime. In fact, nobody was claiming they do. The problem is that they help criminals get away with it. Phillips, who is black, has had enough of that.

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