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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid