While the majority of those stopped under the stop and frisk program are law abiding citizens, the practice of interrogating Blacks and Latinos continues. Department quotas and directives about stop and frisk encourage police officers to stop young men and women who they think might be carrying weapons or contraband. One of the underlying premises of stop and frisk is the belief by police that those being stopped have either committed or intend to commit crimes.
The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Manhattan Chapter knows all too well the impact of stop and frisk on families. We are the mothers, sisters, aunts and cousins of relatives who have been stopped and frisked. And we have heard countless stories of what this experience feels like- the humiliation, the fear and the intimidation. Mothers worry when their loved ones leave home; praying for their safe return. This adds to the stress and anxiety that is disproportionately present in our communities. Unfortunately male children are taught early on how to conduct themselves should they be interrogated by the police. The reality of being stopped by the police can be a matter of life or death. And when it is recurring and an expected part of life, it adversely impacts our children. They are being systematically taught that they are perceived as criminals by virtue of their race, and therefore are not valued members of society. The National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Manhattan Chapter speaks for every concerned parent whose sons and daughters have been stopped without legal justification. The stop and frisk program causes greater harm than good.
We call on Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD to end racial profiling on the baseless suspicion of illegal activity. We want a police department that is transparent and accountable; demonstrating a genuine interest in our children and the communities it serves.
-The implementation of a community policing program that benefits citizens, the police and neighborhoods.
-An independent oversight body that monitors the NYPD. We support the current bill under consideration by City Council.
-Sensitivity training for all police and undercover officers to increase their knowledge and expertise of how to work in communities of color.
-We also recommend that Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly investigate how large cities such as L.A., Baltimore and New Orleans reduced violent crimes without the use of stop and frisk tactics.
After more than 10 years of stop and frisk; it is clearly time for a new business model within the NYPD.