Race and Policing
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In August 2013, a federal judge found that the New York Police Department (NYPD) had engaged in a widespread practice of unconstitutional and racially discriminatory stops and frisks and ordered a collaborative, joint remedial process (JRP) to develop a set of reforms that will help bring the NYPD's stop-and-frisk practices into compliance with the Constitution. The judge highlighted the importance of getting this input, writing at the time, "No amount of legal or policing expertise can replace a community's understanding of the likely practical consequences of reforms in terms of both liberty and safety." The JRP ensures that communities who have been directly affected by these practices will have direct input into shaping the future of stop and frisk in New York. The JRP was envisioned to solicit ideas for additional reforms from communities most impacted by stops and frisks. In addition to community stakeholders, the process will involve the City, members of law enforcement, local elected officials, organizations with expertise in policing and criminal justice attorneys representing the plaintiffs. This process echoes a similar process successfully implemented in Cincinnati, Ohio over a decade ago to address systemic abusive and biased policing practices. Guiding this process is the court-appointed Facilitator, Hon. Ariel Belen.
Since 9/11, (actual or perceived) Muslims, Arabs and South Asians have been viewed by law enforcement as a potential threat on no basis other than religion, casting guilt on all members of that faith.The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has developed a sweeping and secretive human surveillance program that targets Muslims and members of the Arab and South Asian communities in New York City, New Jersey, and elsewhere – solely on the basis of their religious affiliation.This massive mapping and surveillance program has been used to monitor the lives of Muslims, their businesses, houses of worship, organizations and schools – despite any basis for belief of criminal activity.
The New York City Police Department's (NYPD's) aggressive stop-and-frisk practices are having a profound effect on individuals, groups and communities across the city. This report documents some of the human stories behind the staggering statistics and sheds new light on the breadth of impact this policy is having on individuals and groups, in neighborhoods, and citywide.The NYPD stop-and-frisk program affects thousands of people every day in New York City and it is widely acknowledged that an overwhelming majority of those people are Black or Latino. This report shows that many are also members of a range of other communities that are experiencing devastating impact from this program, including LGBTQ/GNC people, non-citizens, homeless people, religious minorities, low-income people, residents of certain neighborhoods and youth. Residents of some New York City neighborhoods describe a police presence so pervasive and hostile that they feel like they are living in a state of siege.
n 2008, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), along with partners from the US Human Rights Network, the Justice Committee and Peoples' Justice coalition presented testimony to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Racism on the occasion of his 2008 mission to the U.S. Our presentations and meeting focused on the New York Police Department's pattern and practice of racial profiling and police brutality. In addition to meeting with the Special Rapporteur, we submitted a written backgrounder which covered these issues and provided recommendations for reform - some of which he included in his final report.