Stop and Frisk Case Set To Close
By Bob Hennelly, WBGO News
New York City Hall. May 20, 2013
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Closing arguments are expected Monday in the landmark federal civil rights class action suit against the NYPD over its controversial stop-and-frisk practices.
The latest statistics for the first quarter of this year show the NYPD appears to have already backed off the strategy with just 100,000 stops compared to more than 203,000 stops over the same period last year.
Donna Lieberman, Executive Director of the NYCLU, welcomes the decline, but says the practice still takes too heavy a toll on communities of color where it is used most frequently.
"Where moms have to sit at their windows, watching their teenage sons come home because they're afraid they'll be thrown up against the wall, thrown down on the ground and arrested for no reason whatsoever," Lieberman said.
Historically young men of color have made up close to 90 percent of the several thousand stops annually with a relatively small percentage being arrested.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told WBGO that the Department does not use racial profiling. He says stop-and-frisk got 700 illegal guns off the street last year and helped the Department bring down homicides from 2,245 in 1990 to 419 last year, a record low.
"This all translates into lives being saved, mostly lives of young people of color because that is what history shows us that's who's being killed disproportionately on the streets of our city," Kelly said.
Across the nation, gun violence is a leading cuase of death of African American teens and young adults with African American makin gup 50 percent of all firearm murders annually.
© 2013 WBGO News