June 15, 2012
By Council Member Daniel R. Garodnick
This is just my second Father’s Day as a parent. And, while I’ll spend much of the day with my dad, my son (and even my father-in-law!), in the afternoon, I will reflect on a different reality that many fathers and sons face across the City: the divisive impact of the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy.
Last year, nearly 700,000 stops were made by the NYPD, stopping black or Latino New Yorkers 87 percent of the time. Unfortunately, many believe—for good reason—that officers are relying primarily on the color of their skin or the neighborhood in which they live to find “reasonable suspicion” to temporarily detain them. And, the fact that the vast majority of those stopped is neither arrested nor written up with a summons only reinforces that perception.
None of this is to take away from the important successes that the NYPD has had over the past decade. We respect our brave officers, and we want them to succeed. However, we also need to make sure that our policies not only work, but also are consistent with our values as New Yorkers. The balance between public safety and constitutional protections against unreasonable searches has been tipped in a way that cannot continue.
I’ve called on the NYPD to revisit the use of stop and frisk, and to commit to reducing the overall number of stops made each year. You can read my letter to Commissioner Kelly here.
On Sunday, I will march with fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, clergy, elected officials and other New Yorkers concerned about the rising number and disproportionate application of stops made each year.
I encourage you to join us: Sunday at 3 PM. The march begins at 110th St. and Fifth Ave.