Last week, weekly journal The Nation released a video containing the only known audio recordings of a stop-and-frisk action, as well as interviews with several NYPD members regarding the damage caused to their profession by the controversial program. The video is both disheartening and alarming; in it, we hear Harlem teenager Alvin – who was stopped by police officers – told he’s being held “For being a fuckin’ mutt.” The officers also issue a number of unwarranted threats: “Dude, I’m gonna break your fucking arm,” Alvin is told, “then I’m gonna punch you in the fuckin’ face.”
As its self-explanatory name indicates, stop-and-frisk allows NYPD to stop, question and search anyone who looks “suspicious.” Data that the NYCLU obtained from the NYPD shows that from 2002-2011 blacks and Latinos made up close to 90% of those stopped, and approximately 88% of those stops were of innocent New Yorkers. These numbers are especially jarring considering that blacks and Latinos make up just 23 percent and 29 percent of New York City’s total population respectively.
The video has been making the rounds, but if you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend you check it out below.