“You can’t lead the people if you don’t love the people. You can’t save the people if you don’t serve the people.”
~ Dr. Cornel West
New York City’s new mayor Bill de Blasio made headlines at the end of January by calling an end to the long-standing practice of stop and frisk. It was a corner stone of his campaign, and he made good on his promise. The mayor was quoted by the New York Times as saying:
“We believe in ending the overuse of stop-and-frisk that has unfairly targeted young African-American and Latino men.” Read the full story here.
The move by the new mayor has drawn a lot of attention both to him and the practice of stopping people on the street for little reason other than their race, ethnicity or socio-economic status, but the truth is people have been speaking out against this practice for a long time.
This video made by the Open Society Foundation says it all:
“I live for my kids. And…I think of them. I think of them one day, being, being slapped by a cop like it happens so many times in the street. I’m thinking of them being handcuffed and screaming to the cop ‘I haven’t done anything. I haven’t done anything. Why are you arresting me? I haven’t done anything.'” ~ Adhyl Polanco
“There is a lot of things that can make the community safer. Stopping and harassing innocent people is not going to make the community safer.” ~ Adhyl Polanco
This video was made as part of the Open Society Foundation’s WhereIAmGoing.org campaign
Wondering if ending this program is a good idea?
Here is some food for thought:
- In 2013, 88 percent of people stopped by NYPD were innocent.
- In the same year 56 percent of people stopped were black and 11 percent were white.
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Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Video Screenshot