Only a week after the New York Police Department lodged their 5 millionth stop and frisk, a monumental class-action lawsuit against the NYPD's official Stop and Frisk program will be heard in Federal Court. For months, ColorOfChange members have demanded an end to the discriminatory policing tactic, which targets Black and Brown youth and subjects them to deeply humiliating, and unwarranted stops.
Starting next Monday, the people of New York will have their day in court. The Stop and Frisk class-action suit, Floyd V. City of New York, is brought by our partners at the Center for Constitutional Rights and argues that the program violates the constitution through racial profiling and suspicion-less stops. Now, the millions of New Yorker's impacted by Stop and Frisk will see their unjust experiences directly challenged and the NYPD will finally have to account for it's racially-biased policing tactics.
On this historic day, we need you there to support and ensure that we are heard. Join ColorOfChange and our partners in packing the courtroom and RSVP to let us know you are coming!
WHEN: Monday, March 18, 2013 at 10:00 am
WHERE: U.S. District Court, Southern District of NY, 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom 15C, New York, NY 10007More »
In his final State of the City address last Thursday, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that beginning in March, most people arrested in NYC for possessing small amounts of marijuana will be released and ordered to return to court, rather than being held overnight. That's good news for the more than 600,000 mostly Black and Brown people that have been arrested for marijuana possession during the last 15 years in New York City. Bloomberg also indicated support for Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposed law to make small possessions of marijuana a violation rather than a misdemeanor.
The Mayor was right to institute this stop-gap measure, but it shouldn't distract from the real remedy to racially-biased marijuana currently waiting for a vote in the State Legislature. ColorOfChange members and our allies have been fighting for a deeper resolution. Please join us in calling on New York state legislators to end discriminatory and illegal marijuana arrests.More »
Former New York City Police Commissioner, Bill Bratton, has been one of the most ardent proponents of the NY Police Department's discriminatory Stop and Frisk program. Now Bratton wants to spread Stop and Frisk to other cities. Last week, Bratton was overwhelmingly approved by the Oakland City Council to serve as a consultant to the Oakland Police Department. Previously, Mayor Jean Quan proposed hiring him to help enhance the city's public safety plan. Bratton has already hinted that the revised safety plan may include the discriminatory Stop and Frisk policing tactic.
Bratton's approval in Oakland is a clear example of how the tactics and training of the NYPD can have serious consequences for the rest of the country. Check out this short video from the Oakland City Council meeting and then join us in demanding Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly end the discriminatory program in New York City.More »
On January 8, Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin issued a ruling demanding an end to the use of Stop and Frisk outside of "Clean Halls" buildings in the Bronx. Operation Clean Halls permits police to patrol, interrogate, frisk, and arrest suspected "trespassers" in 16,000 private residential buildings disproportionately located in Black and brown communities. Judge Scheindlin's ruling orders the NYPD to stop performing trespass stops outside clean halls buildings in the Bronx unless officers have reasonable suspicion beyond a "hunch".
This is the first time a federal court has found a portion of Stop and Frisk to be unconstitutional, paving the way for further legal action. But Stop and Frisk won't go away by itself — we're ready to continue our efforts in 2013. Please join our campaign to demand an end to Stop and Frisk.More »
This past New Year's Day marked 4 years since Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old Oakland resident and father, was brutally killed by BART police officer Johannes Mesherle. Grant was unarmed, restrained, and laying face down on the train platform when Mesherle shot him. Even though the racist murder was caught on video and broadcast around the world, Mesherle served a relatively light sentence of 11 months in an L.A. County jail. National outrage spurned massive organizing, including 20,000 ColorOfChange members who signed a petition expressing their discontent at the case's handling.
Communities of color — disproportionately young Black males — have long-experienced the kind of systemic police violence seen in the Grant case. Throughout 2012 we've seen that police Stop & Frisks create encounters where racial bias and police overreach collide and can quickly turn violent.
Moving into 2013 and remembering Oscar Grant, Remarley Graham, Alan Blueford, and the countless others who didn't make national headlines, the importance of fighting police violence could not be more clear.More »
After being recognized as a Champion of Change by President Obama, Hadiyah Charles, a New York City health advocate, was arrested in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn this past summer. Charles attempted to use her smartphone to film two NYC police officers stopping and frisking Black teenagers.
After being shoved and antagonized by police officers during the incident, Charles has served the New York Police Department (NYPD) with a civil rights lawsuit.More »
This year, NYC has seen a reported 34% decrease in the number of New Yorkers fallen victim to the NYPD's discriminatory Stop and Frisk policing tactic. But there's still work to be done. We know that 86 percent of the nearly 340,000 stops made in the first 6 months of 2012 involved Blacks or Latinos. ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson recently sat down with Ebony Magazine to explain the organization's multifaceted approach to take down the NYPD's oppressive Stop and Frisk program:
"One, there hasn’t been a strong enough movement to take it on. We’re moving in that direction now. Two, there hasn’t been enough embarrassment placed on elected officials who support Stop and Frisk through their silence thus allowing it to continue. The police---not only in New York City, but around the country---have a lot of power over elected officials in cities. They’ve been able to control how politicians stand up on this issue. For us, at Color of Change, we believe all of these folks are accountable. We’re going to continue to do a variety of things to hold folks accountable who continue to support Stop and Frisk or through their silence they support Stop and Frisk."
Court hearings have begun in a lawsuit, by civil rights groups against the City of New York, alleging that the NYPD have been illegally stopping mostly Black and Brown people outside low-income apartment buildings in The Bronx. The lawsuit targets a 1991 anti-crime program called “Operation Clean Halls,” in which landlords give the NYPD permission to patrol their buildings to look for trespassers.More »
If you haven't yet, take a moment to watch this powerful video about the toll New York City's Stop and Frisk policies take on communities of color. It also offers insight into the lives of officers who feel their jobs are on the line if they don't make these discriminatory, unlawful arrests.
On the eve of City Council's first public hearing on the Community Safety Act, which would hold NYPD accountable, TheNation.com released this video. Watch to hear secretly-recorded audio of officers' shameful treatment of a local teen and interviews with veteran policemen who discuss how they're pressured to target people they have no reason to suspect of wrongdoing.More »
Last week hundreds of New Yorkers joined ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson, Communities United for Police Reform (CPR), rapper and activist Talib Kweli, and partners for a rally at City Hall calling on city officials to end the NYPD's abusive Stop and Frisk program and to schedule a vote on the Community Safety Act which will be discussed in a City Council public hearing on Oct. 10.
“Targeting Black New Yorkers through the use of biased law enforcement practices such as Stop and Frisk creates two separate and unequal New Yorks based on race,” said ColorOfChange Executive Director Rashad Robinson. “A program that is rooted in racism cannot be reformed, it must be dismantled. The Community Safety Act is a first step toward ending Stop and Frisk and bringing real accountability to the NYPD.”More »