Stop Racist Stop and Frisks

Hundreds of thousands of young Black and Latino men are harassed by the NYPD every year through race-based stop and frisks and other racially biased practices that target young people of color.[1]

On September 5th, Council Member Jumaane D. Williams and Kirsten John Foy, a senior aide to Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, were the latest victims of abusive practices by the NYPD.[2] On their way to an event during the West Indian Day Parade, they were repeatedly pushed and then arrested by police officers. (Video of Mr. Foy’s arrest online is available online)

It’s time for Mayor Bloomberg to end the policy of race-based stop and frisks that has led to a pattern of abuse by the NYPD in communities of color.

This wouldn’t have happened if Council Member Williams and Mr. Foy were white. And it was’t an isolated incident – encounters like this happen every day.

As Council Member Williams wrote in the Daily News,

If I were not an elected official, I would have been taken to central booking and charged, no questions asked. That fact makes clear to me how serious the situation is for our young black and Latino men who suffer from this police culture every single day. While the actions of the select number of police officers involved here do not represent the entire NYPD, they do reflect a stop-and-frisk policy that unfairly targets people based on race and appearance.[3]

We agree with Council Member Williams and a growing chorus of elected officials that it’s time to end the NYPD’s policy of race-based stop and frisks, along with other policies that have led to targeted harassment by police in communities of color.[4]

This could be a tipping point in demanding greater accountability from the NYPD. Will you join Council Member William’s call to end race-based stop and frisks?

The reality is that stop and frisks – and the illegal searches that often follow – are becoming more common, not less. There can be lasting consequences too. Many victims end up with a criminal record even when they haven’t violated the law, which can lead to the loss of housing, employment, tuition assistance and break up families.[5]

Mayor Bloomberg recently made headlines by launching a “Young Men’s Initiative” to create better opportunities for young Black and Latino men. But the NYPD’s racially-based policies and practices continue, creating a revolving door in and out of the criminal justice system for many young people of color.

Mayor Bloomberg has the power to end the NYPD’s policy of race-based stop and frisks and other racially biased police practices. Sign this petition calling on Mayor Bloomberg to bring accountability to the NYPD by ending race-based stop and frisks.

Sources:

[1] “The Truth Behind Stop-and-Frisk,” New York Times, September 2, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/opinion/the-truth-behind-stop-and-frisk.html

[2] “NYC pol, aide say they were held because of race,” AP/Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2011 http://online.wsj.com/article/APb1813d9881594e6e97c431191a617530.html

[3] “What happened to me at the parade: City Councilman Jumaane Williams explains how he wound up cuffed,” New York Daily News, September 7, 2011 http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2011/09/07/2011-09-07_what_happened_to_me_at_the_parade_city_councilman_jumaane_williams_explains_how_.html

[4] “Williams and Foy on why their arrest is only the tip of the iceberg,” The Capital New York, September 6, 2011 http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/culture/2011/09/3251782/williams-and-foy-why-their-arrest-only-tip-iceberg

[5] “Side Effects of Arrests for Marijuana,” New York Times, June 16, 2011 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/17/nyregion/push-for-marijuana-arrests-in-ny-has-side-effects.html

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