Gregory Malandrucco writes at USCop.org:
The NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program has created two very distinct sets of experiences for the residents of New York City. One portion of the population’s experience embodies relative freedom as we legally and culturally understand it. However, for minority residents of the city, the experience is part of a larger ongoing relationship to the state as potential crime-suspects and targets of surveillance and harassment. One city, two radically different experiences.
For those of you who have never had the displeasure of experiencing the city as a potential crime-suspect, stop-and-frisk is a tactic that essentially allows police to conduct a search of any person of their choosing at any time. So what defines “a person of their choosing?” Reasonable suspicion can be based on something as simple as “movement” or “clothing.” In 2011, so-called “furtive movements” provided the justification for a stop in more than 50% of 685,724 cases, while “clothes commonly used in a crime” was cited in more than 30,000 instances.
Though technically anyone is a potential target, statistics show that the overwhelming majority of individuals stopped and frisked in New York City are people of color. While only 54% of the city’s population is black or Latino, 87% of stops in the first quarter of 2012 involved this demographic. What is more, young black and Latino men made up 4.7% of New York City’s population, but constituted 41.6% of all stops in 2011. Staggeringly, police made 168,126 stops of young black men last year, a number that altogether exceeds New York City’s population of 158,406 young black men…
Read the full post at USCop.org