A Mother’s Fight Against Stop and Frisk

The Gotham Gazette has a powerful story about the racist and unconstitutional policy of Stop and Frisk, the NYPD policy that permits an officer — without a warrant — to stop, interrogate and frisk anyone the officer thinks is “suspicious.” The paper writes about Mary Black, a mother in Harlem, and her 16 year old son’s experiences with stop-and-frisk:

Double-checking the whereabouts of her youngest child, knowing the parents of his friends—these methods helped her to successfully raise her first two. But these stop-and frisk-incidents added an unexpected chapter to her already dog-eared parenting handbook. They required interactions with the criminal justice system that Black had not anticipated. Her son did not have a record but each stop increased her fear that soon, he would.

The NYCLU released a report on stop-and-frisk that found that:

[M]ore than 4 million innocent New Yorkers were subjected to police stops and street interrogations from 2004 through 2011, and that black and Latino communities continue to be the overwhelming target of these tactics. Nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers have been completely innocent, according to the NYPD’s own reports:

In 2010, 601,055 New Yorkers were stopped by the police: 517,458 were totally innocent (86 percent); 317,642 were black (53 percent); 190,491 were Latino (32 percent)