NYPD police uses stop and frisk tactic against blacks: Ian Williams

The controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy of the New York Police Department specifically targets Blacks and Latinos.
The controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy of the New York Police Department specifically targets Blacks and Latinos.

An American political analyst condemns the New York Police Department’s ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy, describing the practice as “profoundly discriminatory.”

The comment comes as the New York Police Department has been taken to court over its controversial ‘stop-and-frisk’ policy, which rights groups say specifically targets minorities.

A civil case is to begin on Monday in Manhattan, where more than a hundred witnesses are expected to testify regarding the NYPD practice of stopping, questioning and frisking people. Blacks and Hispanic men are the main targets.

“When we say stop, question and frisk, we’re not talking about a brief inconvenience on the way to work or school,” said lead attorney Darius Charney of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “We’re talking about a frightening, humiliating experience that has happened to many folks.”

Press TV has conducted an interview with senior analyst with Foreign Policy in Focus, Ian Williams, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Mr. Williams welcome to the Top Five. The question of stop-and-frisk, first there is the question of whether or how necessary this policy is and then the next question of whether actually minorities are being targeted rather than the whole community?

Williams: In many ways the New York police have-- in the city with the rising prosperity crime has actually shrunk in the city and of course the police will claim it’s a result of the stop-and-frisk but the statistics are quite obvious.

They don’t go to some fairly, they don’t go to white areas where there is crime, they go to the black areas, the Latino areas and there the people they stop and yes it has some results but they stop an awful lot of people and most of the people they frisk are simply alienated from the law without anything being found on them.

And then what the police discover they have discretion and the chances are if you are a stockbroker and are you found with some Marijuana in your purse you will be let off but if you are a black kid the chances are you will be arrested, arraigned and given a criminal record. So it is very discriminative in its actual application.

Press TV: And then there is of course the issue of civil rights as well stop-and-frisk in itself do you think it is going too far and it is curbing people’s civil rights?

Williams: Well, clearly I mean really speaking under the constitution the police should have probable cause to stop somebody and of course the New York police department is not a body that I would normally associate with sensitivity or discretion.

They know who their enemy is and they go and pick on the minorities and they will stop and frisk them; they will not stop the stockbrokers; they will not go down to Wall Street or into to the affluent suburbs and stop people. It’s in the working class areas, in the poorer areas which are in this city mostly but not completely black.

You don’t see them frisking in the Italian areas or the Irish American areas or the other parts of the suburbs so in its application it is profoundly discriminatory and it gives far too much discretion to the police. Discretion is not a word you normally associate with the New York police department.
Source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/03/19/294380/racism-rampant-within-us-police/   


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