Sixteen-year-old Craig Terry was one of the young men to whom Mayor-elect Jim Kenney apologized Friday at the My Brother's Keeper Philadelphia Summit, when he said too many young men of color in Philadelphia are stopped and frisked for no reason.
Kenney, 57, said that his 26-year-old son "looks like me," meaning white, and that neither he nor his son had ever been frisked by police.
"I apologize to you for times you have been disrespected, for the times there was no explanation why a police officer stopped you," Kenney told more than 200 people at Community College of Philadelphia.
Mayor Nutter passed a ceremonial baton to Kenney, symbolizing the effort to keep supporting the local branch of My Brother's Keeper, an initiative started by President Obama in 2014. The program tries to help boys and young men of color find mentors and support so they can stay in school, go to college, or find jobs, while avoiding prison.
"We are all responsible for each other," Kenney told the group, echoing other speakers.
Kenney criticized the decision of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to wait 14 months to release a video of a white police officer shooting a black man 16 times.
"When that happens, God forbid, we need to get that out there, and make people understand we're not hiding anything and the process will run fairly," Kenney said.
Closer to home, Kenney criticized as "stupid" a bill introduced in the state House by Rep. Martina White (R., Phila.) that would prevent the release of the name of a police officer involved in a fatal shooting, unless the officer was indicted.
"You have a gun and a badge and you've killed someone," Kenney said. "It may have been justified in that situation, but we need to know as soon as possible, not 14 or 16 months later."
Terry, who lives in Southwest Philadelphia and attends Mastery Charter School's Shoemaker Campus, said he was 15 when he was stopped and frisked by a police officer at the Gallery. He said he heeded the words of mentors, choosing not to say anything to the officer to inflame the situation. Asked about advice he might give, Terry said, "Make sure the decisions you make are the best for you and the people that you love."