Sara Kugler, @sarakug
May 22, 2013
Since January of 2010, over 1.9 million New Yorkers have been stopped by the police as part of the city’s stop-and-frisk program. In 2010, 86% of people stopped were found to be innocent of any potential charges. Since 2010, that percentage has increased every year: 88% in 2010, 89% in 2012, and 90% in the first three months of 2013, according to New York Police Department data.
This NYPD practice is the subject of the 2008 federal class action lawsuit Floyd et al v. City of New York et al, which challenges the constitutionality of stop-and-frisk under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The trial, which came to a close this week, will be decided by Judge Shira Scheindlin. Plaintiffs in the trial argued that the NYPD did not comply with a basis of reasonable suspicion for their stops, but rather aimed to meet department quotas. The plaintiffs also alleged the use of racial profiling in police stops.
Black and Latino New Yorkers have been disproportionately targeted by these stops; white New Yorkers have never constituted more than 12% of total stops made each year since 2003, when data became available.
Elon James White, Editor-in-chief of This Week in Blackness, created the #10FRISKCOMMANDMENTS in 2012 in response to the impact of stop-and-frisk in New York City on black and Latino youth. The video project featured a hip hop song written and performed by Jasiri X that shares “The 10 Frisk Commandments: What to do when you’re stopped and frisked by the Police.”
This week TWIB! released a remix to that video featuring the virtual voices of artists, activists, politicians, and everyday people speaking out against stop-and-frisk. His website explains that the project initiated “in an effort to continue to call attention to the harassment of young people of color under the policy known as Stop and Frisk.” The video encourages watchers to get involved in speaking out against stop-and-frisk policies.
You can find the first video here and watch the second video below.
For more data on stop-and-frisk in New York City, check out the New York Times interactive online database.