Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, House Philadelphia Delegation, LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus release statement on Pennsylvania State Police traffic stop and arrest

PHILADELPHIA, March 5 – Leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus, the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and Philadelphia House Delegation today issued a statement in response to the traffic stop and subsequent arrest of Philadelphia’s head of LGBT affairs and her husband by a state trooper Saturday. 

According to news reports, Celena Morrison, the executive director of Philadelphia’s Office of LGBT Affairs, recorded a portion of the arrest of her husband, Darius McLean, on the Vine Street Expressway. State Reps. Napoleon Nelson, chair of the PLBC, Malcolm Kenyatta, co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus, and Morgan Cephas, chair of the Philadelphia House Delegation, said they have been in contact with state and local authorities surrounding the incident.  

“The video of the traffic stop of Celena Morrison and Darius McLean was deeply troubling,” stated Kenyatta, D-Phila. “We need a full, thorough, and expedient investigation into every aspect of this stop.” 

“My sympathies go out to the family dealing with the trauma of this incident, and I stand in solidarity with the communities that have experienced their own traumas as a result,” Nelson, D-Montgomery, said. 

“The investigation that we are expecting will help us determine accountability measures needed and identify necessary policy changes that we can craft at the state level that will enhance community safety at home. Those changes may come in the form of new technology that might reduce bias in policing. They might lead us to recruiting and training best practices that maximize community safety AND officer safety.  

“What should have been a routine traffic stop has unfortunately become an all too familiar scene of violent arrest, raising concerns about escalation and misconduct, one that so many of our communities seek to limit through local ordinances and defined transparency agreements.” 

Cephas agreed.  

“We must always be vigilant to acknowledge and prevent breakdowns of trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” Cephas said. “While we have been promised a thorough investigation into this incident to ensure accountability and transparency, it is equally important for public officials on every level to continue to work with law enforcement agencies on reassessing their protocols related to traffic stops in an effort to ensure we uphold the principles of fairness, justice and equality under the law for all people.”