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Police Harassment in NYC

From Bob Herbert at the NYT Editorial Desk:

“Statistics will be out shortly about the total number of people who were stopped and frisked by the police in 2009. We already have the data for the first three-quarters of the year, and they are staggering. During that period, more than 450,000 people were stopped by the cops, an increase of 13 percent over the same period in 2008.

An overwhelming 84 percent of the stops in the first three-quarters of 2009 were of black or Hispanic New Yorkers. It is incredible how few of the stops yielded any law enforcement benefit. Contraband, which usually means drugs, was found in only 1.6 percent of the stops of black New Yorkers. For Hispanics, it was just 1.5 percent. For whites, who are stopped far less frequently, contraband was found 2.2 percent of the time.”


Particularly important is the title, “Jim Crow Policing,” which helps to draw the links between today’s racialized harassment and brutality and the legacy of American slavery and brutally enforced second-class citizenship. Never thought I’d say this about the NYT, but this is the kind of reporting we need to see A LOT more of.

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