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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Remember Amadou Diallo? Race and policing in New York City!

Recently, the New York City Police Department released statistics for a single year pertaining to its controversial stop and frisk policies.

According to an article on, more than 31,000 people were stopped in 2011 and 97% of them were black or Hispanic!

People of color had long complained about this practice, and a judge found the policy to be unconstitutional.

New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly said he was disturbed that the judge found Big Apple police engaged in racial profiling, saying that is "recklessly untrue."

"We do not engage in racial profiling," Kelly said. "It is prohibited by law, it is prohibited by our own regulations."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city will appeal the ruling by a federal judge. Incredibly, in spite of the evidence--which shows that police rarely find weapons or drugs or make an arrest in cases where they stop and frisk someone--Bloomberg said the policy is "an important part of [the NYPD's] record of success." See the reality here.

I've been following this story since way way back in the day.

In New York City, police have always used race as a warning sign of potential danger to profile people. Not all cops of course, but enough to create major disparities in stops and even use of force.

Remember the case of Amadou Diallo, followed then shot and killed because he (an innocent man with nothing but a wallet in his back pocket) fit the description of a suspect (why? because he was black?)? There have been far too many of these cases in the city.

Many people have forgotten. Some have not.

Like my man, Ziggy Marley. Check out his song, "I know you don't care about me." Nice use of music to make a point.

"I know you don't care about me. I'm just a nigga' walking down the street."


"And they say their Constitution's for the benefit of all. It's all a lie. It's all a lie."

And read Michelle Alexander's book, The New Jim Crow. Her argument? Criminal justice--especially mass incarceration--is the new Jim Crow. Woah!

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