tv The Stream Al Jazeera February 5, 2014 7:30pm-8:01pm EST
>> i'm lisa flesher, and you're in the stream. we ask if the city is setting a course that could end racial profiling in america. >> wajahat ali is here bringing all the social media throughout the show. we here the debate about law enforcement overreach and it seems that stop and frisk is at the center of it quite often. >> we see that in our community.
many new yorkers are tweeting in and what happens during that stop and frisk. darrell said plenty of young girls were sexually harassed or physically assaulted during the stops by cops. cops. >> a pointed statement from angel as always, and you can see a huge debate in our community. >> millions of people have been detained by new york's stop and frisk policies but his than 3% result in convictions. defenders of the policy including former mayor michael bloomberg note it is responsible for the reduction of violent crimes. the silver rights advocates that it disproportionately targets blacks and latinos.
last august a federal judge found stop and frisk unconstitutional and charging it was an indirect result of racial profiling. so what does this ruling mean where civil rights concerns and racial profiling and public safety. to help talk this through we're joined by a former new york state assembly member. abraham, executive director for families for freedom, an immigrants right okay and i abraham relates as he was stopped twice in new york. patrick the associate editor at the "national review" who incidentally has also been stopped and frisked.
thanks to everyone for joining us. so michael, before we get into the specifics of what's going on in new york, and what bill deblastio is doing. a lot of people are not going to come into contact with a law enforcement officer who stops and frisks them at the we use the phrase a lot, but a lot evil don't know whapeople don't. what is it, and what was the purpose that it was created. >> it was used for neighborhoo neighborhoods, it's a legal procedure where police officers can stop someone based on reasonable suspicion. they've been allowed to search for weapon and that person carrying the weapon or may fit a profile of a criminal they're looking for they may detain that person and bring them to the
precinct. >> and frisk them for weapons sometimes contraband. new york was controversial the contraband was enough, if it was really in plain sight. it was controversial. >> abraham, sometimes these things start off well up tensioned but then they end up with indesirable consequences. i know you were stopped and frisked twice. what happened. >> well, i was stopped and frisked twice. once in manhattan and once in brooklyn. i do say that this occurs to people that look like me quite often. this is not that this is unique or i'm an unicorn in any sense of the word. i was in manhattan on my way to getting to a subway. two undercover officers came up and asked where i was going,
where i was coming from and then frisked me. they did take notes which is the first time that i had really seen that from a law enforcement officer. the second time that i was stopped and frisked was in my neighborhood in brooklyn. i was leaving a celebration for getting into grad school. i was a half block away from the place that i was. this time it was a bit more aggressive, and nba rolled up with a squad car, came out of the car, and ran up on me aggressively started frisking me and asking me for weapons. initially i thought they were looking for someone else, and i consented to the search. i didn't want to sort of impede in what they were doing. but it looked like in the end that they were just looking for anyone. i ended up doing about three days in the criminal justice system. what that means was that i went to the precinct, spent the night there and was finally let go with no convictions and everything was dismissed. >> abraham, our community is
chiming in. >> lynn dangerous speaking about impact we're remembering the anniversary, the 15th anniversary of a 22-year-old west african immigrant in new york who was shot 41 times and killed by the nypd. what is the human toll that it's allegedly taken on communities of color? >> specifically black and latino young people have been criminalized.
i think mr. benjamin brings up an argument that we hear often. just because a suspect is labeled as black does not mean that we stop every black person who is walking down the street. one thing that is interesting is that race is characteristic of a person, one of many. the fact that people think it's okay to stop every black person because someone is a suspect is beyond me. it creates mistrust of young people in law enforcement. and what happens young people don't want to go to law enforcement with issues potentially about crime in the neighborhood. we have those who believe that it helps with crime or decreases crime. bloomberg, the bloomberg era decreased stop and frisk by 600% and crime did not significantly go down under the bloomberg era. i think if you hear the stories of young people going into the system getting records for minor marijuana possession, one thing
about a stop and risk f you have a joint in your pocket, and then you consent to search and that marijuana is showed in public you could be charged with possession of drugs and putting kids on the path to where they see no success is not something that we support and stop and frisk is a flawed policy. >> i believe it decreased crime. i also want to say it's not stop and frisk. that was a tragic incident that took place 15 years ago. the police did not emerge to kill someone. i believe the problem is with the street crimes unit who wound up shooting him. what i believe happened with stop and risk over the years as bureau contracts had to show production that they were getting guns off the street, it
escalated to more stops than reasonbly should have occurred because they had to prove that they were doing things. >> paperwork. >> bureaucracies do that, and that shut should not happen. those who have been stopped were not stopped on park avenue and 59th street. they were stopped in their neighborhoods, crown heights, harlem, high crimes precincts, and the persons who have been shot, robbed, assaulted were black and hispanic men and women and children. the cops are trying to do their jobs to reduce a those incidents. if a person of color is stopped in a colored neighborhood, that's supposed to happen. it makes no sense to stop a white person in a high crime black neighborhood. they're less likely to have committed crime unless they've been described. a tall person of color who is
black, wearing a black--wearing a nikes yeah, you're going to find 95% of the males are dressed like that. they then are free to stop you, ask you and ask who you are and then serve. >> you do the policies bring security at all to these communities? >> not at all. and i want to respond to where it's just in black neighborhoods, it's in these black and latino neighborhoods, it also took place in greenwich village where 70%, and i think linda can back up those numbers, but 70% of those who were stopped and frisked in predominantly white neighborhoods were black and latino. there is this concept of mistrust between young black and
latino males and the police. but then there is a mistrust between me and my community. me and the grocery store that sees me getting stopped and frisked or me and my grandmoth grandmother, whoever i'm with. >> so there are long-term implications on the communities is what i'm hearing you say. i want to talk how abou more abt in the slow but we have to go to a break. will the reforms be substantive or cosmetic. read us your thoughts after the break.
frisk to a point where it became a normal thing to me. when police got out of their cars to stop me, i already had my hands up and against the wall. >> we're talking about stop and frisk and new york city's decision to reform the policy. linda, the judge appointed a monitor to develop widespread reform of, quote, policies, training, supervision, monitoring and discipline regarding stop and frisk. this is a major overall. realistically how is it implemented it. >> the judge laid out what that is going to look like, independent monitoring and let's remember that stop and frisk is part of a systemic system of racism and discrimination that
is in the new york police department. this is going to be a long-term effort to create change. while the debassio administration has committed to stopping the appeal, it has not been dropped yet, and we have obstructionists which are the police unions who are still legally challenging the floyd lawsuit. we're looking forward to the changes. it will require long-term consistent conversations and implementation, and i want people to understand that we're not going to solve this situation fast and we need to stay diligent against th the discriminatdiscriminatory pract. >> do they put the safety before the communities. >> it's a fair question, the right to live in a safety
community. i think that mayor bloomberg's response was a little hyper boletic, you know, the fact that this has been is going to change the new york police department. they'll establish a monitor and implement and add to the police department, what is important right now is actually under mayor bloomberg while stop and frisk dramatically increased, it dramatically decreased towards the end of his team. so obviously the rate of using it exploded, and there are others ways to keep communities safe. what you don't want to do is handcuff the police department. it was just called as systemic racism. the important job of the police department is to keep poor blacks and latinos safe every day.
>> patrick, we asked the community do you think an independent monitor at the nypd will make a difference? william said it's the same logic that will lead we hasio to bill bradden. some proven racism ca racist cal still? and michael i want to go to you, the question is who is watching the watchman? the nypk an independent army 9 will be the seventh largest army in the world. do you agree with that. >> the police department is
controlled by the mayor and the city council. they are the watchers. the independent monitoring, the ig that the new york city couple cannot supervisor the police department. they don't have the expertise to do that. for years it's the same argument. the civilian complaint review board overseeing police officers. that's all this really is. it's the same campaign for the last 50 years to create a civilian complaint board to review complaints about police officers. there are several bad apples in the police department. there are those who have sent people away who are innocent. that should not paint the officers who are doing the right thing for their neighborhoods. you talk to my constituents. many would suspend the bill of
rights. that's an extreme. so they support good policing. policing that is excessive or abusesive no one supports. >> what are some of the examples of that erro erroneous materialt is part of police training, do you know? >> i don't know. what do you mean by erroneous. >> linda, do you know? >> i'll give you an example. when ray kelly showed a film to 1500 officers called "the third jihad," and that was their introduction of how to interact with the muslim community. they depict muslims as suicide-bombers, and talks about how islam is going to take over the west. this is the type of training material, the point that mr. mr. benjamin is making there is a ccrb. it has no teeth. it's been ineffective.
the new york police department is the only city agency that has not have independent oversight. the new york city department of parks and recreation, transportation, the list goes on. this could be the seventh largest army in the world, it does not have independent oversight is beyond me. we don't even know where our tax taxpayer dollars are going. to provide information to communities about what kind of policies and practices are implemented in the new york police department, and the new york police department needs to open its training programs to include community advocates and members of our community to do training. we know how our communities to be policed. we know what it means to interact with our opportunity. >> before we hit the break there are a lot of police unions and police representatives that are concerned that this rule something going to negatively impact how police officers do their job. is. >> it could affect their
personal safety. they're concerned about how to deal with people who may be armed. will they stop? >> will the they hesitate. >> to specific someone with a knife or a gun. there is a control. it's call the city council. linda, you helped elect the city council this past november. police officers are concerned about their own personal safety. they wake up in the morning wanting to home to their families that night after their shift is over. they want to keep our neighborhoods safe. they bring police officers out to the community to talk to them before i got elected i was taught some of the classes of a police officers. else talk to the morning or evening roll call to give them a sense of who we are as a community. the commander started a
muslim-clergy coalition to get a better understanding. those are things that the police captains and inspectors do on a regular basis to build bridges between themselves and the community and to allow them to be able to share information. and people don't share information with police it's because they're afraid the criminals who beat them up and kill people who are so-called snitches. >> or who are afraid of the police themselves. we'll talk about that after the break. new york is not the only place where they use stop and frisk, what are the implications of this federal ruling on racial profiling generally? we'll get to that right after the break.
>> welcome back. we're talking about the end of stop and frisk as we know it in new york city. but there are cities that adopted similar policies, and there have been other policies that have been accused of enabling racial profiling. do you think this rule willing set a precedence for challenges against stop and frisk outside of new york? >> i don't think that's extremely likely. the challenge in new york got extremely lucky with the judge
schinlin who showed bias against police departments generally over the way other federal judges deal with rule of law which is why she was thrown off the case been it's not relevant as it's not going to be appealed as linda was explaining. but think got pretty lucky. most cities haven't used stop and frisk as aggressively as new york did, which is not the same thing as saying new york was particularly guilty of using it in a discriminat discriminat. blacks and latinos were stopped at a lower rate than they commit crime in new york city. but because it was used with such at a high rate as plai expd
earlier, pushing new york cops to reel in the statistics, i wouldn't expect it happening in other cities. >> our communities are chiming in on how to improve the policy >> linda, what can we do to make it better, building between the communities of color and the nypd right now. >> our community organizing in new york city has set precedence nationally. it was after a meeting that erik holder had with mayor debassio that he announced that he would
be adding religion and national origin to the federal guidance. i want to remind people that in the community safety act which is legislation passed in 2013, that was part of our legislation to add those categories. we are making national headlines, and we're changing national policies. >> i want to bring up something that you mentioned earlier since we're talking about the future. earlier you mentioned that this stop and frisk in your communities it does not have just an immediate impact, it has an impact on your community looking forward. talk a little bit about that. >> i think the biggest impact that it has, blacks and latinos, we're not seen as part of the community, right? we're stopped and frisked at an alarming rate where it's almost like our existence is illegal in our communities. stop and frisk has been going on over a decade. >> is this something generationally effecting people? when kids see this seeing this
happen, you feel this is being imprinted on them? >> looking at our skin color and pure existence as something that is illegal and suspicious activity. i think that's completely wrong regardless of civil rights and liberties we need to be treated with dignity, and blacks and latino males are part of that community. if we're not at that table, and in the conversation of what a community needs, we need to be incorporated. >> michael we have 30 seconds left. what does new york city look like a year from now? >> a safer city, reduce crime and murders and blacks, latinos and whites getting along. reporting crime, stop and frisk is not racist and it's not racial profiling. the people who are racist are the criminals who keep attacking black and latino men and women and children and they are the ones we should seek to lock up and put away.
>> thanks to all of our guests for a great discussion, and waj and i will see you online. >> good evening, crch, welcome to al jazeera america. i'm john siegenthaler in new york. sochi, warning about possible explosives in toothpaste tubes. ice and snow digging out, hundreds of thousands in the dark and cold. saving the crops. desperate omen as farmers try to save their crops. the nation's second largest drugstore
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