Thursday, August 30, 2012

Activists Call for Rally Against NYPD's Racial Profiling

Activists call for rally against NYPD's racial profiling

Wed Aug 29, 2012 9:51PM GMT

A group of US activists have called for a huge protest march in New York against city's controversial stop-and-frisk policy, which they believe mainly targets low-income communities of color.

The activities made their announcement outside the New York Police Department (NYPD) headquarters on Wednesday and asked opponents of the policy to join them in a demonstration on September 13 to voice their opposition to the racist policies and practices of the city's police, AFP reported.

“It (stop-and-frisk policy)'s wrong and it's immoral and racist and unconstitutional," Princeton professor and leftwing activist Cornel West said, noting, "We don't want to amend it, we want to end it.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other city officials argue that stop-and-frisk gets guns off the street and reduces crime. Critics, however, maintain that the program has caused a two-tier system of justice that excessively targets black and Latino communities.

"It's going to be thousands and thousands of people across New York City blowing the whistle," said Carl Dix, another civil activist.

"When the whistles blow, people are gonna turn their heads. Windows are gonna open," he said, adding, "There's gonna be a whole different level of resistance. People are gonna stop suffering in silence.”

In June, thousands of New Yorkers took to the streets in a silent march to protest against the stop-and-frisk policy and condemned NYPD for its unfair treatment of minorities.

The policy allows police officers patrolling in the heavily black or Latino neighborhoods to stop any individual based on the slightest suspicion of illegal activity.

According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which has studied police data, the NYPD stopped nearly 700,000 people, mostly black or Hispanic young men last year. The center said that only two percent of all stops found illegal contraband and only in one percent of cases were weapons found.

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