On Friday, June 15, on the steps of Restoration Plaza, a handful of elected officials representing Bed-Stuy and other parts of Central Brooklyn, community leaders and members of the Transit Workers Union gathered at one podium to announce their participation in the Father’s Day Silent March to End Stop-and-Frisk, led by Reverend Al Sharpton and taking place on Sunday, June 17 in Harlem.
State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (18th District), State Assemblymember Annette Robinson (56th District); Councilmember Al Vann (36th District), District Leader Robert E. Cornegy Jr. (56 A.D); District Leader Rodneyse Bichotte (42nd Assembly District), Congresswoman Yvette Clark (11th District), CB3 Chairman Henry Butler, Reverend Robert Waterman of Antioch Baptist Church and District Leader Olanike Alabi (56 A.D.) all were in attendance at the press conference in a show of solidarity.
Though they account for only 4.7 percent of the city’s population, black and Latino males between the ages of 14-24 accounted for 41.6 percent of the stops in 2011. The number of stops of young black men exceeded the entire city population of young black men.
“The NYPD’s own numbers show that communities of color and Black & Latino youth have been the victims of this stop & frisk policy. No citizen deserves this treatment and we can’t stand for it,” said Vann. “On Sunday, let’s show them our numbers and our determination to end stop & frisk so all New Yorkers can move through their communities without fear of racial profiling and harassment.”
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Communities in Brooklyn have seen some of the highest rates of innocent men of color getting stopped and frisked. The 75th Precinct (East New York) and the 73rd Precinct (Brownsville/Ocean Hill) represent the top two neighborhoods with the greatest numbers of stops. In a ranking of total stops as a percentage of the population, the 75th Precinct again ranked first at 29.1 percent; and the 81st Precinct in Bedford-Stuyvesant ranked third at 21.8 percent.
Cornegy added, “In what many are considering a ‘post-racial society’ practices like stop and frisk are reminders to communities of color that the fight for equality is far from over. The disproportionate numbers of individuals stopped and frisked in neighborhoods of color coupled with voter suppression, fair wage demonstrations and overwhelming health disparities represent a throwback to a very unpopular time in American history.”
“I am proud to stand here with these civic leaders, with TWU Local 100, and my fellow electeds and urge all of you to join us in the March to End Stop and Frisk," said Senator Montgomery. "I've got my walking shoes ready, I've got my sunscreen, and I look forward to seeing everyone there to send this message--End Stop & Frisk NOW!"
Friday's coalition of local elected officials and other leaders will charter a bus on Sunday from Bedford-Stuyvesant to Harlem for all those in the community who are interested in taking part in the Father’s Day Silent March to End Stop-and-Frisk on Sunday. The bus will leave from 1424 Fulton Street at 11:00 a.m.