On July 21, 2020, The NAACP’s Lancaster chapter hosted a webinar that discussed racial bias and police reform.

NAACP LogoSheriff Bilal, a former Philadelphia police officer and member of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers (NABLEO), discussed what she noticed when it comes to police relations with black people. Sheriff Bilal believes that unnecessary prejudice can lead to black individuals being stopped more often by police officers than their white counterparts. The example that she gave was a black man running in the rain, empty handed, would be viewed very negatively by the police. The assumption would be that he is running from the scene of a crime. However, a white main running in the rain with a stolen tv would not prompt the same response from the police officer who happens to be passing by.

As the panel continued, Sheriff Bilal, along with the other panelists, encouraged people to join organizations that will promote reform and positive changes, such as the NAACP. Sheriff Bilal also encouraged those listening to consider a career in law enforcement to enact the change they wish to see within their cities.

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On Saturday, July 11, 2020, Sheriff Rochelle Bilal and The Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, along with their partners at The Guardian Civic League, Caring For Friends, Local Laborers Union 57, Muslims Serve, The Black Male Community Council of Philadelphia and Revolutionary Vision, distributed food to Philadelphia families in need at 6143 Landowne Avenue.

Since the pandemic, the Sheriff’s Office has had five food giveaways across Philadelphia. The Sheriff’s Office goal is to ensure that during these difficult no family in Philadelphia goes hungry during these difficult times.

The next public food giveaway will be on July 25, 2020 at 11am.

Additional details to follow on our social media pages: Facebook.com (@philasheriff), Twitter.com (@PhilaSheriff), Instagram.com (@phillysheriff).

To view the recap of the food giveaway, click here.

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Washington Post Header

Original article by Dan Zak and Ellen McCarthy published July 6, 2020

As the country is entering into another month filled with protests, black and brown police officers are left in an awkward position. The job they signed up for is now under extreme scrutiny, following the death of George Floyd. They signed up for the job because they wanted to make a change but have found that prejudice runs deep in the state of policing.

Sheriff Rochelle Bilal, a former Philadelphia police officer, continues to be an outspoken supporter of those who are protesting. In her interview with the Washington Post, Sheriff Bilal would go on to discuss her experience with Philadelphia police officers as she was growing up in North Philadelphia. She also shed some light on what she experienced as a police officer.

Sheriff Bilal Bio


Sheriff Bilal stated that, “police officers beat up my brothers. We thought they were the occupied enemy in my neighborhood. We would be up on the roofs throwing stuff down at them. We saw nothing good from them.”

Sheriff Bilal would go on to becoming a police officer to enact change. As a recruit, Sheriff Bilal experienced the injustice that has been plaguing policing for so long. She discussed how white officers would not face punishment for wrongdoing while black officers would be punished for the same thing.  She also witnessed an online message board for city police officers become a place where obscene racial remarks were often made.

Sheriff Bilal knows that work must be put in for policing to be changed on the inside so that when officers are out on the street, they are doing the proper work.

To read Sheriff Bilal’s interview with The Washington Post, click here. 

On June 27, Sheriff Rochelle Bilal joined Joy Reid on her morning show on MSNBC. The interview comes on the heels of the Minneapolis City Council advancing their plans to dismantle their police department, following the killing of unarmed George Floyd. Sheriff Bilal, who was a Philadelphia police officer for 27 years, spoke on the recent events and gave her thoughts as someone who has been in the community as a police officer.

Sheriff Rochelle Bilal stated that, ”some of these police departments need to be scrapped. You need to look at them and see what they have done in the past and scrap them. All of this is coming out because it needs to come out. These incidents are not new.”

Defund Police

Sheriff Bilal stands with the protestors but also does not want us to forget those officers who have spoken out against the injustice and have had their lives completely ruined due to speaking out. Sheriff Bilal brought up Cariol Horne, a black female police officer in Buffalo who was fired after intervening in a chokehold back in 2008. Sheriff Bilal stated, “if you are about change and don’t support racism, then support those that step up and speak out these issues.”

To view Sheriff Bilal’s interview with Joy Reid, click here.


On June 18, Sheriff Rochelle Bilal joined Senator Sharif Street, Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Congressmen Evans and Boyle to call for a ban on the use of chokeholds by law enforcement throughout Pennsylvania.

On June 17, The PA Senate held hearings on policy reform for law enforcement. Advocates, including the state N.A.A.C.P and Attorney General Shapiro, who stated "Choke-holds have no place in policing. Law Enforcement leaders in Pennsylvania condemn their use and I support strong steps to prevent them from being used in our communities. Senator Street is the prime sponsor of bi-partisan legislation in the Senate that would outlaw the use of the standard chokehold and any action that inhibits breath or the flow of blood to the brain.

Ban Chokeholds

Sheriff Rochelle Bilal believes that,” until the culture of policing changes, these things will continue to happen. We must speak up, stand up and stop these things from happening. No one should be afraid to intervene when their colleague is doing wrong.”

As of June 23, 2020, The Senate Law & Justice Committee just unanimously passed SB1205 - Senator Sharif Street’s bill to ban the use of chokeholds by law enforcement officers and require law enforcement agencies to develop written Use of Force policies backed by annual training and public reporting of use of force incidents.


Original article by 

The Office of the Sheriff is postponing all tax lien sales and evictions until further notice in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

“Due to the COVID-19 trauma that is happening, not just in the city but across the entire world, we felt that there need not be any undue hardship to any of the citizens of the city who may be experiencing work-related hardships related to the coronavirus,” Sheriff Rochelle Bilal said.

Bilal petitioned the First Judicial District Court for the relief measure back on March 12. The March 18 tax lien sale was postponed shortly thereafter. Two more tax lien sales scheduled for March 24 and 26 have also been postponed.

Tax sales typically attract hundreds of people. In an effort to reduce the spread of the highly contagious virus, which the World Health Organization has classified as a global pandemic, officials don’t want people to gather in crowds larger than 10 people.

As long as the courts remain closed, the Sheriff’s Office will not serve eviction notices or perform any evictions. The agency will also cease serving bank writs and garnishments of any kind until the courts reopen.

The sheriff’s office will revisit the new policy at the beginning of next month.


Original article by Jeff Gammage can be found here: https://www.philly.com/news/ice-immigration-immigrants-courts-arrests-sheriffs-department-20190405.html

Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities have agreed to halt arrests of migrants inside Philadelphia courthouses, as part of an accord that defines how agents may enter and act in the halls of justice, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The new procedure, to take effect Monday, requires plainclothes ICE agents to identify themselves to sheriff’s deputies at the front-door security stations, to reveal whether they are armed, and to state where in the building they intend to go. Those deputies will alert their supervisors, who could contact the judge in the courtroom to which the agent is headed, said Sheriff’s Deputy Chief Paris Washington.

ICE officials said they could not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The new guidelines come five days after The Inquirer reported on a March 21 incident in which an ICE agent, dressed in a Muhammad Ali T-shirt in a Criminal Justice Center courtroom, flashed a badge at a public defender and asked the lawyer about his client.

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This article by was originally posted at http://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/annual-mlk-day-luncheon-honors-those-fighting-for-justice-voting/article_ecf080d2-b3b2-51c9-b422-9b177e64be68.html

As the nation honored the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence held its annual Awards and Benefit Luncheon on Monday. The organization honored local community leaders and activists with its annual “Drum Major” awards.

The “Drum Major” awards are named in honor of King’s famous 1968 “Drum Major Instinct” speech, which was the last high-profile speech of his life and when he famously said that he “hoped to be a drum major for peace.” The honorees were recognized for their philanthropic and community service in the Philadelphia community.

This year’s honorees included Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams and Laborers International of North America Local Union 332 Business Manager Samuel Staten, Radio One Founder and CEO Cathy Hughes, and 97-year-old New Jersey election worker Laura Wooten. 

“When you’re a 97-year-old Black woman, [voting] is a topic where you have a lot to say,” said Wooten, a native of Princeton, New Jersey. She worked her first election in 1939 at the age of just 18, and has worked every election since.

“You know that elections matter,” she said. “And — God willing — I’ll be right there at the Lawrence Road firehouse helping out at the polls in 2020.”

Previous “Drum Major” honorees include Joe Frazier, J. Whyatt Mondesire, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Cicely Tyson, Nelson Mandela, Dick Gregory, Rosa Parks and Donald “Ducky” Birts.

Other 2019 honorees included Ken Harbin and Gina Ross, who were honored for their 14 and 12 years respectively with the organization with the C. Delores Tucker Volunteer Award. The organization was founded by the late activist in 1983.

A number of elected officials also attended the luncheon, including Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. 

“When I think of Martin Luther King, the one word I think of is justice,” Casey said. “By commemorating his legacy; by fighting for justice every day of the year — not just on MLK Day — you pay tribute to his legacy for fighting for justice.”

Casey noted the Martin Luther King Jr. Association for Nonviolence could not hold its annual ceremonial ringing of the Liberty Bell because the bell was closed due to the government shutdown. The senator spoke during the luncheon and had a pointed message to Donald Trump regarding the ongoing.

“This shutdown could end tomorrow morning when I go back to Washington,” Casey said, taking Republican Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell to task. “We can talk for a long time after the government’s open, about border security or anything else. The House did its job and acted responsibly.

“Now you have the leader of the Senate Republicans in league with the President, who shut the government down, so now you only have two people who can open this government,” he added. “Pass the bill in the Senate and open the government first and get the people back to work.”