Heavy Police Presence Poisons Community-Police Relations
If Attorney General Eric Holder doesn't intervene we will see the already high tension between community and police increase and even explode, as we approach the summer.
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The heavy police presence in New York City communities of color with police bombarding the residents with summonses for petty offenses such as, jaywalking, urinating in public, noise pollution, opened alcohol beverage containers, tinted car windows, and the possession of small amounts of marijuana is creating a sense of distrust among many law abiding, tax-paying New York City residents.
Some elected officials predict an explosion.
When one visits predominately Black and Latino neighborhoods in New York City such as, Harlem, East New York, Bedford Stuyvesant, the South Bronx, and Jamaica Queens, you see military-style New York Police Department vehicles and swarms of foot patrol officers conducting illegal searches and issue summonses for the most petty offenses everyday.
This Apartheid style policing, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly condone, has poisoned relations between the Black and Latino communities and the NYPD. Many residents in communities of color feel imprisoned in their very own neighborhoods.
This year alone, the NYPD between January and March illegally stopped-and-frisked more than 200,000 people, most of whom were Black and Latino. This report comes in spite of the many recent citywide marches, protests, and public criticism by numerous elected officials and activists. The most absurd part about all this is that even though a study by the ACLU confirmed that the policy is ineffective, Bloomberg and Kelly continue to violate the rights of Black and Latino New Yorkers.
Top elected officials are standing up against this Apartheid policing regime.
“If you want to go where the numbers and the money is, you would be stopping and frisking every White man with a jacket and a suit and a tie, because he may be committing a financial crime that cause poor people to make bad decisions,” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, who is one of the lead sponsors of legislation to end the current stop-and-frisk regime. “We are doing this in communities that are outliers. We are doing this in communities that you feel you can get away with it,” he added, of the police.
“There will be an explosion in our community,” said Council Member Charles Barron, who is also running for U.S. Congress. “There is going to be a time when if you don’t respect our laws, we have a god-given right, we have a constitutional right to protect ourselves by any means necessary. You better listen to my brother today because our communities are not going to take it anymore.”
If Attorney General Eric Holder doesn't intervene and investigate the New York Police Department's racist and discriminatory practices, we will see the already high tension between community and police increase and even explode, as we approach the summer.
Ironically, the Bloomberg-Kelly illegal searches and the distrust its created makes it harder for good police officers to do their job efficiently.
The illegal stop-and-frisk regime has increased by 600% since Bloomberg came into office.
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