On Thursday, September 13th, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network will join Cornel West and communitee leaders across the five boroughs of New York City to protest the NYPD policy of stop-and-frisk.
More than 10,000 whistles will be handed out to groups who will post up at various locations across the boroughs at 3:00 p.m. to “blow the whistle” on a policy the group says is unconstitutional, illegal and harrases mostly young black and Latino males.
In Brooklyn, the group will gather in Brownsville, on the corners of Rockaway Boulevard and Livonia Street.
West, co-initiator of the Stop Stop-and-Frisk campaign, said “[We are] Blowing the whistle on stop-and frisk because we love our young people in this city, and especially those who are victimized by this racist and unconstitutional practice, disproportionally black and brown young brothers and sisters, but we love all of them.”
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.
People armed with whistles and cameras plan confront police who are violating people’s rights, sending a message that ‘Today, no one will be suffer this abuse in silence’,” said Carl Dix, co-initiator of the campaign.
The rally continues a series of independent protests that have taken place over the last year against the policy, including in June when 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 for a Father’s Day Silent March, led by Reverend Al Sharpton.
In recent months, the number of stop and frisks in New York City has dropped significantly, by more than 34 percent, reported the New York Times in August. A big contributing factor given was an overall weariness and by police commanders to push for such stops at daily roll calls, as well as a general feeling of unease about the tactic by officers on the street.
Widespread criticism by the city's black and Latino residents as well increased media attention surrounding the policy apparently has contributed to the drop, with officers opting against questioning people they might have stopped before, said the paper.
“It’s time we all stand together with those throughout the city who are being racially profiled by the NYPD," said Elaine Brower, who was arrested protesting the policy and will take part in Thursday's protest.
"Blow your whistle to alert the police that their activity is being watched! Blow your whistle to alert others to turn on their cameras and raise their voices! Blow the whistle to stop violations of our rights.
"If thousands of us participate in calling attention to this illegitimate practice by the NYPD, we will end it.”
Other protest locations include:
Harlem: 125th & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd, State Office Building
South Bronx: 174th & Manor, Bronx River Projects
Jamaica Queens: Jamaica Avenue & Parsons Blvd.
Staten Island: Stuyvesant Place & Wall Street, Bay Street near SI Ferry
6:00 pm Union Square, south side
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