On Tuesday, May 15, NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous, 1199 SEIU President George Gresham and Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network joined dozens of civil rights leaders, faith leaders, and elected officials in Foley Square to protest the NYPD's Stop and Frisk policy.
NYPD’s Stop and Frisk policy allows officials to stop and pat down any individual based on suspicion alone. Blacks and Latinos are nine times as likely as whites to be stopped, and the vast majority of those frisked are innocent. In 2011 alone, the NYPD stopped and questioned 685,000 people. Of those, 605,000 walked away with no charges.
However, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly fired back at elected officials who criticized the stop-and-frisk program and pushed them to offer another solution to curb gun violence:
“What have you said about how to stop this violence?” Kelly asked on Tuesday, reported the Daily News. No one offered an answer.
Kelly, normally cool and composed in public, appeared agitated as he sat at a table inside a City Council hearing room, the article reported.
Kelly also has stated publicly, during a previous visit to the 79th Precinct Community Council meeting his desire to see the community step up and take on a greater roll in helping to curb gun violence: “What have the leaders of these communities of color said? What is their tactic and strategy to get guns off the street?”
Maybe they did not have an answer, but they felt Stop and Frisk certainly was not the one, asserting that the NYPD's policy in its ineffectiveness amounted to nothing less than racial profiling.
At Tuesday's press conference, the leaders announced they would lead a “Silent March to End Stop and Frisk," to be held on Father’s Day, June 17.
What do you think? Do you feel that Stop and Frisk policies are a necessary measure to curb gun violence in the city, or do you feel they do little more than racially profile innocent citizens and erode the public trust?
Take our poll, and let us know what you think in the comments.