Until the mayor and police commissioner recognize that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program is fundamentally broken, the steps outlined today by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to “increase public confidence” in the Department will do nothing to reform a practice that regularly violates the constitutional rights of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from communities of color, said the leadership of the New York Civil Liberties Union.
“It’s clear the police commissioner is feeling political pressure around the NYPD’s abusive stop-and-frisk program, but this response is nothing more than a desperate public relations attempt,” said NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman. “The mayor and commissioner need to give up the spin and recognize that the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program is fundamentally broken. The NYPD is out of control, and the culture and practices of the Department need a full-scale overhaul so that the fundamental rights of all New Yorkers are respected and all communities can trust and respect the police.”
In response to discriminatory policing practices like the abuse of stop-and-frisk, the NYCLU and our allies in Communities United for Police Reform are working to pass the Community Safety Act, a series of City Council bills that would strengthen the definition of discrimination, ensure that New Yorkers understand their right to not consent to searches where no probable cause or warrant exists, and require that NYPD officers identify themselves when conducting stop-and-frisks or engaging in other police activities. In the coming weeks a bill will be introduced creating an NYPD Inspector General’s office.
The NYCLU is also helping to organize a Father’s Day march with 1199 SEIU, the NAACP, the National Action Network and dozens of other labor, civil rights and community organizations to demand an end to the NYPD’s abuse of stop-and-frisk.