Home Featured Stop & Frisk: Racial Profiling Or Keeping Us Safe?

Stop & Frisk: Racial Profiling Or Keeping Us Safe?

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This past Sunday morning when I woke up, I had some decisions to make on how I wanted to plan my day. I had to spend a couple hours in the lab finishing up some experiments, I had a playoff basketball game, and I had caught wind of a silent march that was taking place that afternoon. I couldn’t miss lab and I definitely wasn’t about to miss my basketball game, but something told me that I didn’t want to miss the march.

The march was a protest against New York City’s “stop and frisk’’ policies. These are police strategies in which officers fight crime in the city by stopping and searching people they consider suspicious. Just so happens that almost 85 percent of the people they stopped last year were African-American and Latino. In 2011, black men were stopped and frisked 168,126 times. Do you know how many black men live in NYC? 158,406. There were more “stop and frisks” of black men in NYC last year than actual black men living in the city. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is racial profiling on the most basic level. The fact that these mostly unconstitutional policies are still in place says a lot about how people of color are still viewed.

It’s easy to rant or give lip service about how things need to change without actually sacrificing time and effort. I decided to put off going to the lab and head over to 110th and 5th Avenue at 2pm. The silent march was set to take place from 110th Street to Mayor Bloomberg’s home. As I walked down 5th Avenue towards Central Park, what I saw was absolutely amazing. A sea of people lined as far as I could see.

It’s a beautiful thing when people can come together for a good cause. I expected maybe a few hundred people, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 3-5,000 people out there. At the front of the crowd, the two organizations that readily stood out were the NAACP and SEIU. I saw young people and old people joining hands in solidarity. Another thing I noticed was the abundance of Caucasians in the crowd holding posters with messages like “STOP RACIAL PROFILING” and pictures of Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. Just like during the Civil Rights Era, there are people who are not victims of unjust laws and policies, but still stand up against what they know is wrong.

Before the silent march got started, people were on bullhorns giving speeches. This one man who was stopped and frisked five times last year addressed the crowd. He explained the circumstances of his stops. He did nothing wrong yet he was stopped because he looked “suspicious.” I couldn’t help but empathize with him. It’s been awhile since I’ve been harassed by police officers. Growing up in PG County, MD in the 80s and 90s, harassment was commonplace and an everyday part of life. I won’t go as far to say that our police department was as bad as larger cities like New York or Los Angeles, but profiling and harassment ran rampant and unchecked. Even my father was a victim of police brutality (he settled out of court). Fortunately, I’ve been lucky enough to not fall victim to this type of treatment in my adult life. But I’m sure it’s happening to someone right now. We just won’t hear about it in the news tomorrow.



What do you think about New York’s “stop and frisk” policies and others like it around the country? Do you think it falls under racial profiling or is it just how officers protect and serve our community? Have you ever been undeservingly harassed by a police officer?

Tunde I don't know how to put this but I'm kind of a big deal. People know me. I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany.
  • Animate

    I honestly feel like it can be both. It all depends on the make up of the area and how often a particular group gets stopped. If its a racially diverse area but only blacks and hispanics are target, first option is is profiling. BUT, if the ones committing the "real" crimes, not simple possession and the likes, are blacks and hispanics then I think it falls under keeping safe.
    My recent post InAnimateAlpha: Phrases people need to stop saying: "Me personally"

    • Tristan.

      I agree, we dont want to be harassed but also i pay too much in taxes for me be walking around with my head on swivel either. At the end of the day, we all want the effective policing we're paying out taxes for. And rounding up every minority you see and hoping you catch one is not effective

  • King Jordan

    it's kind of a dilemma, in a sense.

    because the people that live in NYC, desire/want to live in a safe environment, and don't want to live in a chicago-style area (no disrespect to the Chi, but i heard the gunplay is wild)…
    and if a serious crime goes down in Harlem, and the suspect is described as a man of color, it doesn't make much sense to run into the 70s and start pattin' down 2520s.

    that being said, it says something when there are more stop-and-frisks of black men, than there are black men in the actual city..it says something when cats get stopped and frisked 3-4 times (and i think there was one kid there who was stopped/frisked 60 times?) i think there HAS to be a better policing technique than just running up on teenagers to get them in the system before they actually commit something serious (and while i don't smoke, having a baggie of weed doesn't say to me "lock this kid up in Rikers).if this type of policing isn't going on in the Chelsea area, or Dumbo, then it shouldn't be going on in Harlem, or Bedstuy.

    maybe this is part of the reason for Bloomberg (and Commissioner Kelly) supporting Gov. Cuomo's measure for decriminalizing small amounts of weed (Apparently the measure has been tabled – http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/06/cuomos-marij

    i hope that answered the first 3 questions, lol…and to answer the 4th, i haven't been stopped and frisked, yet (i expect to, though), but i have been stopped for driving while black in Long Island (well i believed it was DWB)…i was coming home one night, i was in the Old Westbury/East Hills area, cop stopped me for going "fast" (it was 1, 2am, i was doing 45-50 on a main road…anyone else would be doing the same) but i keep the car clean, i looked like an acceptable negro, and i had a p*a card *shrugs*

    • "and if a serious crime goes down in Harlem, and the suspect is described as a man of color, it doesn't make much sense to run into the 70s and start pattin' down 2520s."

      here's the thing. stop and frisk doesn't occur when an actual crime goes down. cops ride around looking for suspicious activity in an attempt to curb criminal activity even though whites are just as likely to engage in criminal activity and be in possession of drugs. its laws and policies like that disproportionately put people of color behind bars.

      as far as decriminalizing weed i'm all for it. matter of fact i'm all for decriminalizing all forms of drugs (not against people caught with the intent to sell). the money saved by putting those people in jail could go towards rehab and prevention methods. obviously jailing people isn't working. the war against crime/drugs began with ronald reagan and we still haven't made any headway.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      • "here's the thing. stop and frisk doesn't occur when an actual crime goes down. cops ride around looking for suspicious activity in an attempt to curb criminal activity even though whites are just as likely to engage in criminal activity and be in possession of drugs. its laws and policies like that disproportionately put people of color behind bars. "

        This is exactly why I've really started to question crime statistics and whether blacks really commit crimes at a disproportionate rate.

      • Bree

        Mad thats because a lot of folks are making money off of huge drug busts I'm sure.
        What do you think happens to all the money and drugs that are confiscated????? Somebody has that money and they are doing something with it, but I seriously doubt it's being used by the right people for the right reasons.

      • Man, that's is some 1984 stuff.
        My recent post Sorting Algorithms (Take Two)

  • Peter Parker

    I am definitely all about keeping the communities we live in safe, but it's one thing to blatantly profile a certain demographic of people. That is definitely WRONG! I think with the whole, "stop and frisk" thing as I am older and more mature, I have no problems because I know I am not doing anything wrong. The problem lies when police officers abuse their powers and don't treat you with respect. That's were I have issues with this whole "stop and frisk" concept. Growing up in the south and now living in pg co, this is an all too common concept of disrespect and it should not be occuring.

    • What its all about is finding a "hot tempered" juvenile and doing a stop and frisk on them and just waiting for them to say or do something in retaliation that can be interpreted as disorderly conduct or police brutality or whatever else they can try to throw at you.
      My recent post Sorting Algorithms (Take Two)

  • Stop and frisk is the politically correct term for racial profiling, hidden under the glorious pretext of serving and protecting the country, my foot!
    My recent post Dreams are not for mass consumption

  • SMilez_920

    It’s a good idea if you’re not the one being frisked all year around. If the police had frisked the same amount of white, Asian and other ethnicities in NYC as they did black men then it would be fine. I’m from NYC I don’t see cops running around Union Square (Mix group of ppl), or Flushing, Queens (Lots of Asians in that Area), or heavy Jewish populated areas in Brooklyn frisking people all crazy. With all of the gentrification going on our neighbors especially Harlem there’s no way the cops could have just missed frisking all the White men by accident but brothers and Latinos are out there getting frisked once a week.

    And before it’s even put out there yes there is a lot of crime going on in black and Spanish communities but let’s not forget this is NYC there is crime going on in every community, it might not be as loud or as violent but it’s happening. Has the commissioner forgotten that crime in NYC goes by many faces? If he wants to keep this law just don’t profile our community go to all these communities make their young boys and men feel uncomfortable and see what type of response you get after that.

    • "With all of the gentrification going on our neighbors especially Harlem there’s no way the cops could have just missed frisking all the White men by accident but brothers and Latinos are out there getting frisked once a week."

      exactly. with all the white ppl in harlem walking their dogs and drinking lattes you would think that eventually they would get stopped and asked if they would consent to a search. i guess they don't look "suspicious".
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      • SMilez_920

        The thing is there’s just as many black ppl in Harlem and other neighborhoods doing the same thing. I'm sure a lot of the men at that march were hard working citzens who were stopped for nothing more than being black men.

    • I wonder if standing on a corner looks suspicious, or sitting on a stoop. I wonder how much what the person's wearing has to do with it. Does a person look less suspicious if they have a book in their hands? What about a magazine? What about a CD player? Are bike riders less suspicious than walkers? I wonder if there are stats on some of this stuff cause I have a feeling that its not just a breakdown along race lines but economic lines as we've been trained to believe in this country that poor = criminal.
      My recent post Sorting Algorithms (Take Two)

  • Dr. J

    I'll get into this later but National Security is an issue of Predictive Analytics. I'm not really sure there's a lot of ways to secure a state without the use of them. "Stop and Frisk" is an example of that. On the flip side, they're sitting in the police stations and evaluating the profile of the criminals arrested/convicted/detained and coming up with a profile that they use to enact that law. It's not like they're going out and chasing Black men. Is it racial profiling? Probably. Would it bother us if there was no disparity in who was detained? Probably not, but for the purposes of this conversation everyone is allowed to say they would still be bothered.

    Crime is just really hard to prevent. And nobody wants the police to just sit back and not do anything until something happens. Investigations only yield but so much success. This is one of the reasons why the movie Minority Report is so interesting to me. I'm not sure most people realized just how impactful that movie is to our police in today's times. But yeah…

    • Bree

      Minority Report…..will definitely be checking that out.

    • I wish I could believe you, but I doubt highly that police stations have the software to do the machine learning / data mining algorithms you talk about. What I'd guess they're doing instead is taking a glance at a stat sheet similar to what you're talking about and they see stuff like, "oh, X percent of the major crimes were committed by Blacks, so we should target Blacks more" and it becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.
      My recent post Sorting Algorithms (Take Two)

      • Dr. J

        Yeah they actually do though… Facial recognition, data mining and BI platforms are being stood up and used. Most people think it's just a bunch of dumb cops in a room. It's several people involved in the operation. There's IT geniuses back there doing much more than your beat cop could ever do.

        • The thing is though that these fields themselves are still developing. Facial recognition is a prime example, the human face goes through so many changes that to get a program that quickly recognizes one of the millions of expressions as you is difficult. The reason I doubt it is that places like Google and Facebook are having problems with it. Remember that facial recognition program that came out a few years ago that couldn't recognize Black faces? I mean, its a lot of research going on in this field and every few years somebody comes out with a revolutionary paper with some new way of doing things that kinda pushes everything forward a whole lot, but in pushing everything forward, that means that everybody's got to take the time and money to invest in this new way of doing things.

          Pure data mining is more established with procedures that are more well understood, but that's general data mining. Applying data mining to a specific problem like crime statistics, surveillance videos, etc means that you need data and one of the biggest limitations on data mining is data, and the capacity to store that data. I doubt that at the local levels the departments have the capacity to store that data. Google solved this problem with the cloud, but it costs money for them to move to the cloud, and in the current economic crisis we're in I doubt they've invested in that. So I don't really see how they can be implementing these algorithms.

          But really, I don't have to get all deep and thoughtful about why they're not implementing it, I can look at their results and see. Even if they are implementing these algorithms, they're not doing them to the level that they should be to be effective. Its kinda like I said earlier, if you train your algorithms to look for data based on race, then you shouldn't be surprised when it returns a result that says "Blacks are criminals". But that's an insufficient result, which at minimum says that we need to go back and question their methods.
          My recent post Sorting Algorithms (Take Two)

        • http://news.google.com/news/url?sr=1&ct2=us%2

          I found this article and thought it was worth sharing. I guess we're both right to an extent on this. The high tech software is not used on a large scale, but departments are starting to utilize more sophisticated things in their search to prevent crime, but I still say that if the algorithm is merely saying "target young black male" then its a crappy algorithm that needs to be thrown out with the rinse cycle.
          My recent post Binary Search Trees

  • This policy is lazy policing at it's finest. It's racial profiling and it makes criminals out of black and Latino men. This undermines their ability to "protect and serve" because it reinforces the distrust that exists. If law enforcement was really interested in crime prevention they would make an effort to get to know people in the community. Folks will talk on the low if they trust that you will do your job, which isn't to harass people for no reason. Everyone in the neighborhood tends to know who the bad seeds are because the truth is that majority of crime in most places are committed by a few people. We really need to start getting on elected officials who think such policies are okay. They don't need to be in office because they are not working in the best interest of poor and minority communities.

    • Tristan.

      the epitome of laziness…

  • PEYSO

    Stop and Frisk is not inherently racist. However, it is being applied in a manner that is racist. I think that this distinction is important and shows the racist undertones of our law enforcement agencies. Furthermore, it has been proven that it doesnt work. If law enforcement's goal is to get higher level criminals off the street, Stop and Frisk is not particularly tailored to doing this

    • since you're a lawyer let me ask you this, do you think stop and frisk on some level violates the fourth amendment? i surely think it does. and that's regardless of race.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      • PEYSO

        Difficult question really because the text of the 4th Amendment has been so watered down by judicial activism. Can a person really say that he or she has a legitimate expectation of privacy in their body while walking down the street? I'm not sure. Furthermore, probable cause is a pretty low standard. So without thinking about it too hard, i dont think there's a prima facie case for violation of the 4th Amendment.

        • but the 4th amendment was put in place by this country's founding fathers because they were subjugated to arbitrary searches by the british. seems a little hypocritical especially coming from right wing conservatives who are so gun-ho on preserving the dignity of the constitution.
          My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      • PEYSO

        I think a better argument would be under the 14th Amendment. I think one could argue that it violates both Substantive due process and the equal protection clause. It violates the former because courts have interpreted the clause to mean that numerous other freedoms that do not appear in the plain text of the Constitution are nevertheless protected by the Constitution. Surely, the framers would consider minding your own business a constitutional right and this would clearly fall in the penumbras of the document. Under the EPC, this falls under strict scrutiny review because of its application. Anytime a legislation "discriminates" against a suspect class (race, gender, national origin, etc) it must be justified by a compelling governmental interest (something necessary for the government to stop, in this instance crime), it must be narrowly tailored to achieve that goal (this is where I think this policy fails because the proof is in the pudding. The policy stinks) by not being overbroad or failing to address essential aspects of the compelling interest, and it must be then the least restrictive means for achieving that interest (it also fails here because i think we could prove that there are easier ways of doing this.)

      • PEYSO

        Why does it make me split my comments up?

        If you can get a court to agree that strict scrutiny, you will win the case.

        BTW, I'm no lawyer. Just a law student/con law nerd

        • Alakaii Hawaii

          Yeesh. I thought about doing law but I tried to do this thing where I pretended to be ghetto and I tried to defend myself to see if I was any good….and I lost. Bad. And I was like…na nevermind. But it was a really cool idea I was gonna pitch to law firms to clean up the Judicial system. Where first year associates have to do like undercover work and become their clients and they have to defend themselves in court so then judges wouldn't know who's a lawyer and who's a criminal and hopefully they'd make more fair decisions. But….it doesn't work. And I lost. And now I have a record. But it was a totally good theory and might work for an ACTUAL law student if you ever wanna be partner or something.

    • Bree

      My biggest problem with this stop and frisk is that it is a clear violation of rights of privacy. Legally you cannot search and/or frisk anyone without probable cause. There is a fine thin line the police are about to cross. I'm surprised they have not been taken to court by someone on the premis of violation of privacy rights.

      • actually look up Florida v. Bostick as well as Terry v. Ohio. the supreme court in their infinite wisdom actually blurred a lot of lines on what is actual probable cause. throw in pretext stops and consent searches and police have almost unlimited power in these types of cases.
        My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

        • Bree

          I will definitely check out those cases too.

        • yngblkmale

          The standard for a stop and frisk is actually lower than that of probable cause (which is inherently low in itself). An officer may stop a person without probable cause (probable cause = at the time of the incident, the officer has within their knowledge reasonably trustworthy facts and circumstances sufficient to warrant a prudent person to believe that the suspect has committed or is committing a crime). Under Terry v. Ohio, all the officer needs, to stop an individual (an investigative detention), is an articulable and reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

          Now, then you might ask yourself, “Well, self; what the heck is “reasonable suspicion,” and what is the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause? The court (SCOTUS) has not explicitly defined reasonable suspicion, but they have noted that it requires more than a vague suspicion; however, full probable cause is not required and the standard is judged under the totality of the circumstances.

          The distinction, in my opinion, should (arguably does not) rest in the officer’s thought of whether a crime is currently happening/already has happened (based on a totality of the circumstances and the "objective reasonable police officer standard"), or whether there is a probability that criminal activity can or will happen in the near or distant future. Regardless, I think the way the law is interpreted gives police officers unfettered discretion to claim that they had either reasonable suspicion or probable cause to rightfully seize anybody.

          The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the inherent racism widely apparent in today’s society in general, which trickles down to the criminal justice system and law enforcement officers. Until the advertisements, movies, music and general news media outlets stop putting black = bad into the minds of America, this problem/issue will not go away.

          Because being black is painted as and associated with owning and using violent weapons; possessing, using and distributing drugs; et. cetera, it becomes reasonable for a prudent person (or prudent police officer doing his duty to serve the public at large) to believe that an individual standing on a corner wearing baggy jeans and a hoodie (while being black) could reasonably be involved in some criminal activity because he just shook hands with another individual standing on a corner wearing baggy jeans and a hoody (while being black). That hand shake could reasonably be viewed as a possible drug transaction; thereby eliciting a justifiable stop and frisk (Constitutionally reasonable seizure under the 4th Amend.). Unfortunately, combating a police officer's reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is a rather daunting task…

        • great comment. you're right. it takes a complete overhaul at how our country deals with racism.
          My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      • PEYSO

        Right of Privacy barely exists. Probable cause is too easy to make out

  • Tristan.

    Don't frisk me bro.

    In my now 23* years (yes shameless today my birthday plug) I've been frisked, had phones confiscated (apparently it was a crime for a 17 year old to have two phones #atthesamedamntime), guns in my face, pulled over, bookbags emptied so i definitely know what about this. Now i'm in different circles, traded in du rags for ties…i'm feeling some type of way. I need to see the COMPStat (shoutout to The Wire) to show the effectiveness of shaking every black tree until something drops.

    • happy birthday man. i've never been harassed to that level but the more you read the more you realize that you have rights. when a cop asks you if they can search your belongings you have the constitutional right to say no. police are in place to protect and serve. there's nothing about protecting me if you're harassing me for no reason other than my skin color.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

    • Bree

      Happy B-day Tristian.

  • I’m SO glad you decided to go. I wanted to go so bad. This issue is close to my heart. Do you know that stop and frisk policies do NOTHING to lower crime? 99% of people they stop are totally innocent. This is not a crime prevention technique. It is a method to harass, and virtually imprison men of color in their own communities. You think cops don’t know most of the people they stop are innocent?! After a while, they would get a clue, right? But they continue. Why? To harass, and terrorize men of color. Why? Racism. It’s really that simple.

    • i'm currently reading The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. it touches on a lot of this as well as the history of how all these policies got put into place and how the powers that be (mainly the executive and judicial branches) helped keep them there.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

      • I'm actually reading that same book…very powerful and enlightening.

        • if you want to follow along i have a male book club on twitter. we'll be discussing the book starting this thursday 9pm EST for the next couple of thursdays. all you have to do is follow the hashtag #TMBC. i also have a co-ed book club on twitter #NBR.
          My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

        • I'll be following and commenting! Thanks

      • yngblkmale

        That is a fantastic read, and the author (Michelle Alexander) is a phenomenal speaker on the subject too! This book should be a MUST read for all high school students. I love suggesting the book to my white friends. Once they get a taste of the first few chapters it's, "OMG! This is such a great book! I never thought about it from that prospective before!" Which is exactly how I felt too!

  • Bree

    I'm not a cop, don't really know any cops now. My cousin is a retired cop though.
    At any rate, what I do know is that profiling any group of people based on stereotypes is inherently wrong on many levels.
    Back in the 80's and 90's when there was all these big drug busts goin on I do know that all the cops did to take drug lords down was keep their ears to the streets and infiltrate the communities and get inside people to snitch. They also had to be patient and actually be able to build a solid case based on more than circumstantial evidence and probable cause. Reality is it takes time to take down major criminals, many of them are not stupid

  • WisdomIsMisery

    I'm a bit torn on this issue. I don't have a problem with the policy to be honest. I have a HUGE issue with how the policy is employed. As you said above:

    here's the thing. stop and frisk doesn't occur when an actual crime goes down. cops ride around looking for suspicious activity in an attempt to curb criminal activity even though whites are just as likely to engage in criminal activity and be in possession of drugs. its laws and policies like that disproportionately put people of color behind bars.

    If they went into EVERY neighborhood, instead of the predominately minority ones, I'd have no issue what-so-ever but we ALL know that will never occur. If it did occur, this law wouldn't even last on the books longer than 24 hours. It's not bad policy, which is why they continue to defend it. It's a poor excuse for implementation – and that's what they don't defend.

    The Grind wrote a similarly themed story when 50 minorities were shot in ONE weekend in Chicago with minor press coverage. If 50 whites were shot in one weekend in one city it would be international news. That's not racist, it just shows that people only care about issues that directly affect them or people who look like them (this includes every race). I really don't see a fix. You aren't going to prevent people from being people – self absorbed. It's been this way since forever. It's clear that policies like this don't help or even address the real issue, until we admit that, we'll just be walking in circles. We've been walking in circles for centuries. I'm just waiting for someone in power to stand up and point out the obvious: we need a new direction.

    • Bree

      "We've been walking in circles for centuries. I'm just waiting for someone in power to stand up and point out the obvious: we need a new direction. " Most definitely WIM. Totally agree. This country is notorious for putting band-aids on gunshot and stab wound type issues. It's ridiculous. And folks walk around looking crazy still wondering "why??"

  • I honestly am very conflicted on the issue, mostly because I was born here, and I know I would not be intact without some of the more er… "questionable" police tactics employed in the 80's and 90's. The same policies that were protested then and understood later. And while I side-eye the unexplained increase in police presence in my gentrifying neighborhood-I live alone, and probably get followed for longer than I am comfortable with by a random man who doesn't quite understand "Not Interested" once a week. I don't agree with the policies, but I cannot deny that at some point I have benefitted from them. So yes, I will protest-but with a brief pause and hope that they can come up with something better as opposed to getting rid of the idea entirely.

    And considering the amount of people that commute here on a daily basis, the "more men get searched than live here" statistic isn't all that surprising to me.

    • "And considering the amount of people that commute here on a daily basis, the "more men get searched than live here" statistic isn't all that surprising to me."

      i think this occurs because men are getting stopped multiple times.
      My recent post Take Me Back to 1953

  • Larry

    " Do you think it falls under racial profiling or is it just how officers protect and serve our community?"

    I believe as in many cities and many cases the answer falls somewhere in the middle. In some communities it's more left or right of center than some people may like.

    Honestly, I'm not sure what an appropriate and viable solution would be.

  • Alakaii Hawaii

    When I used to get stressed out I'd choose really scenic routes and drive along them for hours and hours smoking black'n'milds. I ran out and put the bills I grabbed in the gas tank because I had a box of teabags in the car cuz they had this awesome perfumy scent that complimented the smell of wine tobacco — anyway. Long story short: I rolled up some tea and smoked it and got convicted for possession of marijuana. I'm gonna assume it's because I was wearing black sweats and a black t-shirt and had a black scarf and had bloodshot eyes….even if it was because I pulled an all nighter studying and decided to have a joyride at 3 am to get my mind off things so that I could sleep when I got home. backstory of aroma therapy and maintaining a 4.3 gpa = irrelevent. I looked suspicious……so I stopped hot-boxing my vehicle. and it never happened again.

    • Alakaii Hawaii

      I'm gonna go out on a limb and say if you're in a certain area where a certain type of person looks suspicious, you're bound to get unwanted attention. I wanna be able to give the benefit of the doubt even though I've grown up in the suburbs and have had rather pleasant experiences with the police. I think cops in certain areas are just conditioned to think and behave a certain way and I think that's best for THEM. Do minorities get the short end of the stick? Yeah.

  • Times like these I wish we could get our RBG on, be more bold and brazen and police the police. Or at the very least teach and make sure those who are affected the most by these lays/policies know their rights. But we don't do that because it doesn't "hurt" us. Until it does.

    I agree with other comments that what looks good in theory does not work so well in implementation because in that phase biases, prejudices and assumptions come into play. And the folks who don't know any better are the ones who are targeted the most because everyone in the system knows they don't know. And the people who do know better won't speak up en masse, loud enough, so that things get changed. So, we watch Black and brown folks get stopped and frisked and we shake our heads because sometimes those people do fit the "profile" and they should have known better and it low key does make us feel a little safer and we keep it moving because it ain't us.

    My father said one reason the Trayvon Martin case had such an impact is because for middle class Black people who have escaped, who live in gated communities, don't expect that type of violence to happen to "us." If you do "right", live "right", know you're "right" because you have a job, pay your taxes, etc., then you think you have outrun those problems. But you can't outrun your skin color and how people will perceive you. Unless we all work together to change that. But that's a daunting task…

    And so because the people protesting without effective policy is nothing, I'm glad this issue has been brought before the Justice Department because I do believe that Attorney General Eric Holder is an OG and this is only the beginning…
    My recent post Tuesday’s Thoughts – The Best Judge

    • Alakaii Hawaii

      "But that's a daunting task…."

      No bull. I literally JUST handed off a project I was working on. Like literally. Just sent the e-mail and then clicked back over to SBM. It took two years and a billion headaches and quite an arrest record to get it off the ground and it really did a number on me but, someone has to do it right?

  • Vee

    Don't treat us like Palestinians? Seriously?

    Palestinians are being killed on their own land. Not frisked because of racial profiling.

    As those statistics show, many black men were frisked more than once. And some were probably not frisked at all. I think it depends on the neighbourhood, on the company you keep, but also unfortunately on your luck. I'm hoping most of those frisks were done to known criminals and crackheads, but the thought of several black men being subjected to this without any fault of their own is a little hard to take.

    I guess if I could actually trust law enforcement officers it'd be easier, but I really don't. At all. Too many of them are on their own weird power trip.

  • Streetz

    only 160,000 black men live in NYC? Really? Thats gotta be off man lol. Are they counting the 5 boros?

    Great post man