About a hundred people gathered outside Pace University this afternoon to protest stop-and-frisk, the NYPD policy under which, over the last eight years, more than 3 million innocent New Yorkers — overwhelmingly black and Latino — have been stopped, questioned, and searched on the street.
The protest, organized by a network of activists called Stop Mass Incarceration, was originally scheduled to march to One Police Plaza, but a late change of plans instead sent it south, around a virtually empty Zuccotti Park and back up to Central Booking.
Noche Lares, one of the organizers, said the stop-and-frisk policy is illegal and unconstitutional.
“It’s a violation of fourth- and fourteenth-amendment rights,” Lares said. “Even if that weren’t true, it’s racist and wrong.”
Johanna Fateman, the writer and musician best known for her work with Le Tigre and Men, said she was attending the march because from the windows of her Harlem apartment she sees children subjected to stop-and-frisk searches on a regular basis.
“I’ve been really excited about Occupy Wall Street because it’s encouraged so many people to become radicalized and take to the streets,” Fateman said. “But it’s important to me that this new movement not just be about the issues facing the disappearing middle class, but the also the people who are affected by issues like this one every day.”
A large contingent of police on foot and on scooters escorted the march, but unlike previous anti-Stop-and-Frisk protests in Harlem, Brownsville, and Jamaica, Queens, this one featured no civil disobedience and no arrests.