Many Blacks in the New York City area are finding their neighborhoods being bombarded by White New York Police Department (NYPD) officers who stop and frisk them daily and give summonses for petty offenses such as, jaywalking, noise pollution, opened alcohol beverage containers, littering, tinted car windows and the possession of small amounts of pot.
According to an article entitled “Stop and Frisk Policy at Risk”, in The New York Daily News on April 11, 2012, the NYPD admitted to stopping and frisking approximately 685,724 people in 2011 alone, most of whom were black, less than 6% of those stopped and frisked were actually arrested.
The shooting deaths of unarmed Black men such as, Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and most recently Bronx teen Ramarley Graham, has raised the following unanswered questions: (1). Why does the majority of the NYPD not look like the residents of the neighborhoods that they patrol? (2). Why is it that in the 200 year history of the NYPD, there has never been a case of an unarmed White male being shot and killed by officers? (3). Why are so many New York City residents being railroaded through the system for petty offenses such as, jaywalking, noise pollution, opened alcohol beverage containers, littering, tinted car windows and the possession of small amounts of pot? (4). Who monitors the conduct of the NYPD?
With these and many other unanswered questions, along with the current alarming statistics. It is apparent that Black communities are under attack by the NYPD. Here is the statistics provided by The Daily News.
In 2011: 685,724 people stopped by the NYPD*
53% (350,743 people) were Black
34% (223,740 people) were Latino
9% (61,805 people) were White
88% (605,328 people) were not arrested or given a summons
819 guns recovered
In 2003: 160,851 people stopped by the NYPD
54% (77,704 people) were Black
31% (44,581 people) were Latino
12% (17,623 people) were White
87% (140,442 people) were not arrested or given a summons
The NYPD abuse of Occupy Wall Street protestors and the shooting deaths of unarmed Black teens Trayvon Martin and Ramarley Graham have galvanized New York City residents, and have brought the age old problem of Racial Profiling to the forefront once again.
However the question of what to do about this problem still remains. Do we let the momentum die down and go back to sleep again? Do we sweep it under the rug, and let less important issues take precedence over this issue?
We must continue to unify, mobilize, speak out, march, boycott, petition and work diligently against the injustice and discrimination of the NYPD.