After assurances by Mayor Edward Rendell of Philadelphia that the city would consider new ideas to fight corruption in the Police Department, two civil rights organizations and 10 other plaintiffs have agreed to delay filing a federal lawsuit seeking reforms to combat police corruption and abuse.
Stefan Presser, the legal director for the Philadelphia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the lawsuit was to have been filed yesterday.
But after meeting on Tuesday with the mayor, Police Commissioner Richard Neal and city legal advisers, the plaintiffs said they were willing to wait while city officials considered recommendations for change in the Police Department.
"This is an astonishing turnaround," Mr. Presser said.
He said that on behalf of his clients -- the Philadelphia branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Police-Barrio Relations Project and 10 people falsely arrested or detained by officers from the 39th Police District -- he would propose eight changes in police operations.
Among them, he said, would be the appointment of an inspector general responsible to the mayor, improved record-keeping techniques to track records of complaints and a "change in the culture" of the Police Department's internal affairs division.
The recommendations arose out of a recent scandal involving the 39th District. Six officers -- five whites and one Asian-American -- have pleaded guilty to corruption charges, including illegal searches, lying under oath and planting false evidence.