News / USA

After NYC Elections, 'Stop-and-Frisk' Debate Persists

Mayors and Courts Battling Over Police Reforms in New Yorki
X
November 19, 2013 9:59 PM
New York’s new mayor-elect, Bill de Blasio, takes office on New Year’s Day, but a legal battle that emerged during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s 12 years in office is only becoming fiercer. The incoming and outgoing mayors are on opposite sides of a fight that has pitted community groups and civil libertarians against the New York police under Bloomberg. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports.
Carolyn Weaver
A bitter legal battle over reforms to the New York City Police Department, the nation’s largest, continues as a new mayor prepares to take office.
 
The fight pits Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, community groups and civil libertarians against NYPD policies under outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who sharply defends them in court and the media.
 
Demonstrators rallied for the reforms outside City Hall one day after electing de Blasio, who campaigned in part on promises to change NYPD policies.
 
Rally speakers, including U.S. Congressman Jerrold Nadler and several City Council members, together with representatives from local Latino, Arab-American and Muslim organizations, among others, called for changes in policing practices they call abusive and racially discriminatory.
 
The primary issue concerns a practice known as "stop-and-frisk," in which police detain, question and often search people on the street. In August, federal judge Shira Scheindlin ordered reforms to the practice after finding that police had often violated the Constitutional rights of minorities by enacting stop-and-frisk procedures without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, and that the city’s highest officials had “willfully ignored overwhelming proof” of racial profiling by police.
 
In a decision issued after a class action lawsuit, Scheindlin wrote that people “who would not have been stopped if they were white,” were searched unlawfully. According to evidence presented at trial, from 2004 to 2012 hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers — over 80 percent of them young men of color — were stopped and searched by police who had no objective basis for suspicion. The majority were let go without an arrest or summons after being found without weapons or contraband.
 
In many police reports, the judge wrote, the only basis reported for a stop was that the subject was in a “high crime” area, or had made “furtive movements.”
 
During the trial, some police testified that an illegal quota system that pressured them to make at least 25 stops a month or face discipline was used as a job performance metric.
 
“We were stopping kids walking home from school,” NYPD officer Adhyl Polanco told ABC News. “We were stopping kids from walking upstairs to their house. We were stopping kids from going to the store.”
 
New York's outgoing mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly angrily rejected Scheindlin’s ruling, which the city has since appealed.
 
“We do not engage in racial profiling. It is prohibited by law; it is prohibited by our own regulations," Kelly said at a news conference. "We train our officers [that] they need reasonable suspicion.”
 
Crime in New York has declined sharply over the last decade even as the number of stops increased, Mayor Bloomberg said, in part because knowledge of the aggressive policing deterred many from carrying weapons.
 
“Stop, question, frisk has saved countless lives, and we know that most of those lives saved, based on the statistics, have been black and Hispanic young men,” he said.
 
In a rare move in late October, a three-judge appeals court panel removed Scheindlin from the case and ordered a temporary stay in the reforms, saying that her comments to the news media could lead a “reasonable observer” to question her impartiality.
 
The panel did not act to vacate the ruling as requested by the Bloomberg administration, and demonstrators have called on the mayor to drop the city’s appeal to the ruling now, since Mayor-elect de Blasio has said police reforms will go forward when he takes office regardless of what happens in court.
 
In a separate study of the NYPD released in mid-November, New York State’s Attorney General reported that stop-and-frisks from 2009 to 2012 targeted mostly young men of color, and did not reduce crime.
 
The study found that only about 3 percent of those who were stopped and frisked were later convicted, mostly for misdemeanors, such as carrying small amounts of marijuana.
 
Whites and Asians arrested for carrying marijuana, the report said, were 50 percent more likely to have their cases adjourned and later dismissed.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anatoliy from: NY
November 19, 2013 6:44 PM
The system is realy work. Now NY is one of most safety place in US. And most color people in NY know the Bloomberg right abut stop-and-frisk. The new mayer in New York really is really very wrong .
It's not about racial profiling - and about criminal activites among young color people. Noone say nothing about chines etc...

by: Roger from: NEW YORK
November 19, 2013 6:20 PM
Stop and frisk innocent people, when its a FACT that the CIA, arms, funds, runs, trains and created Al Qaeda. What is wrong with this picture?????????????????????????
In Response

by: Anatoliy from: NY
November 21, 2013 5:29 AM
One time police check me up. I was tired and sleeping in subway car so its looked suspicious. It's not racial stuff - it's our reality and it stupid close eyes on criminals just because some idiots thinks that is "racial profiling".

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs