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Entries in stop & frisk (5)
My latest cop watch. Ironically I found myself and my work being validated by the cop in charge. Then it was back to business as usual...marijuana arrest... - Joseph Jazz Hayden
This is a video of a typical marijuana arrest conducted by members or the NYPD. Even though possesing under 25 grams of marijuana has been decriminalized in New York State since the 1970's the NYPD continues to make every effort to criminalize people of color for those offenses. This is based on a loophole in that law that states that if that same amount of marijuana is in, "plain site" it becomes an arrestable misdemeanor offense rather than a violation.
Here is a report from the NYCLU on the racial disparities in marijuana arrests in the stat of New York.
NYCLU Analysis Exposes Stark Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests in Counties Across New York State
June 6, 2013 — There are stark racial disparities in low-level marijuana arrests in counties across New York State, according to a New York Civil Liberties Union analysis released today of federal crime reporting data from 2010.
The greatest racial disparities occur in Kings County (Brooklyn) and New York County (Manhattan), where black New Yorkers are more than 9 times more likely than whites to be arrested for possessing marijuana. But the problem is not limited to New York City. Enormous racial disparities exist in counties throughout the state, including several of the state’s most populous counties, such as Onondaga (7.75 times more likely), Niagara (7.56 times more likely), Monroe (6.5 times more likely) and Erie (5.66 times more likely).
“In all corners of New York State, police are targeting people of color for marijuana possession arrests,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said. “Arresting and jailing thousands of people for possessing small amounts of marijuana does not make safer streets. It only needlessly disrupts people’s lives and fosters distrust between the police and the communities they are sworn to serve.”
Statewide, black people are 4.5 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession. They are at least twice as likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana in 52 of the state’s 62 counties. Nationally, blacks are more than 3.7 times as likely as whites to be subjected to marijuana arrests.
There were consistently large racial disparities in marijuana arrests in New York State between 2001 and 2010. While arrest rates of whites increased slightly, black people shouldered a great portion of the increases in marijuana arrests, with the black arrest rate increasing 26 percent over that time span.
These gaping racial disparities in marijuana arrests exist even though government surveys show that whites use marijuana at higher rates than blacks do.
An American Civil Liberties Union report released this week on marijuana arrests nationwide showed New York leads the nation in marijuana arrests. In 2010, there were 103,698 marijuana-possession arrests in New York State – more than 29,000 more arrests than the state with the second-highest total, Texas with 74,286 arrests. New York’s marijuana arrest rate of 535 arrests per 100,000 people was double the national average and was the highest arrest rate of any state.
“New Yorkers should be embarrassed that our state leads the nation in marijuana arrests,” Lieberman said. “The crackdown on low-level marijuana possession needlessly hurts individuals and families – subjecting them to all sorts of collateral consequences like the loss of student financial aid and job opportunities. Governor Cuomo has pledged to clarify the state’s marijuana laws to bring justice and common sense to drug enforcement in our state. We urge him to keep that promise.”
New York City is the nation’s marijuana arrest capital. Arrests for marijuana possession in the city skyrocketed from only 774 in 1991 – for the lowest misdemeanor offense – to 50,383 in 2010 – an increase of 6,409 percent. The explosion in marijuana arrests happened despite the fact that New York State made marijuana possession a violation in 1977, like speeding or ignoring a stop light.
The number of marijuana-possession arrests in the state annually was consistently high between 2001 and 2010 and increased over the final three years of that time span.
Arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana does not reduce serious or violent crime. According to a study by two University of Chicago professors, these arrests only pull police off the streets and divert them into nonessential police work. According to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Health, the rise in marijuana arrests has not corresponded with a reduction in the use of marijuana in New York State.
Marijuana possession arrests drive thousands of young men of color into the criminal justice system. It does so at significant taxpayer expense. In 2010, marijuana arrests cost state taxpayers $678.5 million in police and court costs.
“At a time when county governments across New York are cutting services to close huge budget deficits, police should not be wasting scarce resources arresting people for small amounts of marijuana,” Lieberman said.
Marijuana arrests needlessly harm individuals and families. They can affect eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, child custody determinations and immigration status. Marijuana convictions can also subject people to more severe charges and sentences if they are ever arrested for or convicted of another crime. In addition, the targeted enforcement of marijuana laws against people of color sows mistrust between communities and the police, weakening public safety.
Bronx Assemblyman Eric Stevenson has been facing community criticism over a perceived flip flop on the issue of stop and frisk. The video below from Occupy the Bronx shows that criticism spilling over at a rally in the Bronx held in support of Reynaldo Cuevas and his family. Reynaldo Cuevas was recently shot and killed by the NYPD. Cuevas was inside the Bodega he worked in when it was being robbed and when he ran out for safety an NYPD officer shot and killed him thinking he was one of the perpetrators. Full Coverage at Occupy the Bronx.
Occupy The Bronx wrote, "Reynaldo Cuevas Relatives, Friends, Community Members and Event Organizers fed up with the political shenanigans politician's play especially when relating to the practices upon communities of color by the NYPD refused the presence of Assemblyman Eric Stevenson who arrived at the event uninvited with media support and afew ex-cops turned community activists geared up to grab mainstream media spot light."
Days after his conflict with the community members took place, Assemblyman Stevenson sat down with Jazz Hayden of allthingsharlem.com to clarify his view on Stop & Frisk and where he stands. Let us know what you think of his response and this issue as a whole.
Voices from the Silent March to End Stop and Frisk in New York City on Father's Day, June 17, 2012. All Things Harlem spoke to a diverse group about the march and the NYPD's policy of stop and frisk.
Video From the Event
This video is of the diverse voices you wont see in mainstream media discussing the issue of stop and frisk and the NYPD in New York City.
Full Jeremy Scahill interview with Jazz. Jeremy Scahill says that NYPD's policy of Stop and Frisk should be one of the premiere civil rights issues of the city. He also relates the issue to the global perspective and how our police have become militarized and resemble the oppressive regimes around the world that the United States criticizes.
Scahill's daughter a 5th grader successfully got her entire 5th grade class to sign a petition against stop and frisk. She says that her classmates as young as 12-years-old have been stopped and frisked while just hanging out with their friends.
Jeremy Scahill is national security correspondent for The Nation, and author of Blackwater.
Interview with John Liu. John Liu is the Comptroller of New York City and the only potential Mayoral candidate currently calling for a complete end to stop & frisk, and not just a reform of the policy.
Arrests were made as the the Silent March to end stop and frisk wound down outside Mayor Bloomberg's home in New York City. As some of the remaining groups and people continued to protest and began changing their silence into noise, the massive presence of the NYPD formed up quickly in attempts to stamp out what remained of the march.
With orders coming over the phone from their bosses the chain of command took over and the NYPD management, (the guys in the suits on their phones) informed their captains (the guys in white shirts) to instruct their minions (the foot soldiers in blue) to begin to to clear 5th Avenue and push people onto the sidewalks and in between the barricades surrounding Mayor Bloomberg 's home. They did this by using their normal military apparatus of Motor Scooters, vans, batons, big orange netting, tons of zip tied handcuffs, police camera crew (TARU) etc.
With these tools they still relied on what they know best, brute force and intimidation along with a few arrests in hopes that this would disperse the crowd. In this situation they chose to arrest the biggest baddest most intimidating people of the group first - (young women).
All the while members of crowd chastised the police for their actions and challenged them to think about what they were doing and what they were supporting in their actions.
NYCLU - 'Stop & Frisk Watch' is an easy and convenient way to hold the NYPD accountable for its actions. You can download it for free at www.nyclu.org/app The app has three main functions: Record, Listen and Report. The 'Record' function initiates your phone's camera. When you are finished recording, the app prompts a survey that you can fill out with any pertinent information regarding the police interaction you witnessed. This file, the video, audio and/or report are sent immediately to the New York Civil Liberties Union. The 'Listen' function turns on your phone's GPS and will alert you if any other 'Stop & Frisk Watch' users have started to film a police interaction in your vicinity. The 'Report' functions prompts the survey even if you didn't film the police interaction. 'Stop & Frisk Watch' also contains 'know your rights' information regarding your rights when you are stopped by police, and your rights to film police. For more information about what you can do to hold the police accountable or to see what the NYCLU has been doing for decades, go to www.nyclu.org
The struggle will not end with this incremental change, it will only end when we have control over what happens in our communities by having control and accountability over those that claim to represent our interest. We cannot wait decades for tweaking of abusive policies. We need structural change. The police are our servants, not our masters. This is the official report of the pending reform.
NY Times - Cuomo Seeks Cut in Frisk Arrests
By THOMAS KAPLAN
Wading into the debate over stop-and-frisk police tactics, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo plans to ask legislators on Monday for a change in New York State law that would drastically reduce the number of people who could be arrested for marijuana possession as a result of police stops.
The governor will call for the decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana in public view, administration officials said. Advocates of such a change say the offense has ensnared tens of thousands of young black and Latino men who are stopped by the New York City police for other reasons but after being instructed to empty their pockets, find themselves charged with a crime.
Reducing the impact of the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk policy has been a top priority of lawmakers from minority neighborhoods, who have urged Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, to pay more attention to the needs of their communities. The lawmakers argue that young men found with small amounts of marijuana are being needlessly funneled into the criminal justice system and have difficulty finding jobs as a result.
By deciding to get involved in the biggest law enforcement issue roiling New York City, Mr. Cuomo is again inserting himself into the affairs of the city in a way that has been welcomed by some and resented by others. He previously brokered the resolution of a dispute over legalizing street hails of livery cabs, and he ordered the city to stop requiring that food stamp applicants be fingerprinted.
In this case, the governor would be acting against the wishes of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and in spite of a September directive from the police commissioner, Raymond W. Kelly, who instructed officers not to arrest people who take small amounts of marijuana out of their pockets or bags after being stopped by the police.
The Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group critical of the Police Department’s marijuana arrest policies, found that only a modest decline in the arrests followed Mr. Kelly’s memorandum.
Though the governor’s legislation does not address the high number of stops by the police, it would take aim at what many black and Hispanic lawmakers as well as advocacy groups say has been one of the most damaging results of the aggressive police tactics: arrest records for young people who have small amounts of marijuana in their pockets.
“For individuals who have any kind of a record, even a minuscule one, the obstacles are enormous to employment and to education,” said Donna Lieberman, the executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. “When it’s really a huge number of kids in the community who go through this, and all have the same story, the impact is just devastating.”
The police in New York City made 50,684 arrests last year for possession of a small amount of marijuana, more than for any other offense, according to an analysis of state data by Harry G. Levine, a sociologist at Queens College. The arrests continued — one in seven arrests made in the city was for low-level marijuana possession — even as Commissioner Kelly issued his directive.
Mr. Bloomberg has opposed ending arrests for the possession of small amounts of marijuana. His administration has argued that the arrests serve to reduce more serious crime by deterring drug dealing and the violence that can accompany the drug trade.
All prior convictions under Bloomberg and Kelly's racist policy and practice should be expunged and the "victims" compensated and apologized to by the City.