Perhaps it is Mayor Michael Bloomberg who needs a crash-course on the dangers of earbud volume, because the City Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus says the mayor must not be hearing the massive outcry against stop, question and frisk.
The 27-member caucus filed an amicus brief Monday in the federal case David Floyd v. City of New York–a class-action lawsuit that seeks to put an end to the NYPD’s racially biased stop-and-frisk policies.
“New York City communities have vociferously made their opposition to NYPD’s stop and frisk policy heard,” the brief states. “Despite being confronted consistently with community complaints, judicial findings and concerned legislators, the NYPD has refused to acknowledge the policies adverse effects.”
The council held numerous public hearings throughout the city in October where hundreds of New Yorkers expressed outrage over the practice.
The brief highlights recently released statistics from 2011, which reveal that blacks and Latinos constituted 87 percent of the 685,000 New Yorkers stopped and frisked that year. To make matters worse, 88 percent of those stopped hadn’t committed any crime.
“Indeed the Mayor and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly have repeatedly defended the stop-and-frisk policy,” the brief states. “Absent a court-ordered collaboration, the NYPD is not going to engage the community in a process of reforming its street encounter policies.”
The caucus argues that stop-and-frisk places a heavy strain on the relationship between the community and law enforcement.
“The present state of polarization and lack of communication between the police and the communities they serve undermines the legitimacy of law enforcement…and ultimately threatens to destroy the fundamental trust and cooperation between the police and the communities,” the brief states.
The case is set to go to trial on March 18 in Manhattan Federal Court.