I stumbled upon a “Million Man March” in Harlem about a decade ago. Until then I had never seen American citizens being herded like cattle through barricades while police helicopters hovered overhead. It was not until I went to view an Occupy Wall Street protests earlier this year that I witnessed similar, but not as extreme, measures taken to control Americans demonstrating. Should we expect the Stop-and-Frisk policies to migrate from inner city low income communities to main steam America as well? I am very pro law and order, but what gives the police the right to stop and frisk 600,000 New Yorkers every year? I must admit there are areas of the Bronx I avoid driving through during certain evening hours due to the high risk of being pulled over or questioned at a police check point.
February 10, 2012
Dear New Yorker,
This past week I sent a letter to Police Commissioner Kelly expressing concern about the New York Police Department's (NYPD) stop-and-frisk practices and suggesting ways in which the policy can be significantly improved.
While there's no disputing that stop-and-frisk is an effective crime fighting tool, I'm concerned about the impact that the department's stop-and-frisk practices are having, particularly on communities of color.
To help address these concerns and improve police-community relations, I will be supporting legislation requiring the NYPD to report to the City Council on the departmental audits of stop-and-frisk activities.
I have also called for the following changes to the department's stop-and-frisk practices:
- The NYPD should ensure that all officers, regardless of rank, receive ongoing training in "cultural sensitivity" and are familiar with the department's written racial profiling policy.
- The NYPD should comprehensively review data to create an "early warning system" to flag officers and precincts where out-of-the-ordinary stop-and-frisk activity is taking place.
- Absent "extraordinary circumstances," the NYPD should consider an improper stop-and-frisk a serious matter, and violations shouldn't be punished with a "slap on the wrist."
You can read more about these recommendations in the Wall Street Journal article pasted below. Otherwise, I hope to be in touch again soon with additional news and updates on this issue.
Thanks and have a wonderful weekend.
Christine C. Quinn