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New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has drawn community outrage for his unwillingness to meet with public figures to discuss the controversial Stop & Frisk policy of the New York Police Department (NYPD). The policy has drawn criticism for leading to disproportionate arrests of black and latino men.
This release was sent out by Rachelle Noerdlinger, publicist for Rev. Al Sharpton:
(New York, NY) – On June 17th, 2012, a diverse group of civil rights, labor, faith, community and student leaders are planning a silent march in New York City to bring attention to serious concerns in regards to the stop and frisk policies of the NYPD. These groups, including the NAACP, National Action Network (NAN), 1199SEIU, and NYCLU, have requested to meet with Mayor Bloomberg to discuss the matter, but he and his office have been unresponsive.
“Mayor Bloomberg’s refusal to meet with us regarding stop and frisk shows his continued unwillingness to address this important issue,” the group said. “The fact that the Mayor works with us and agrees with us on Stand Your Ground, but refuses to even meet with us about Stop and Frisk is baffling. There are many other means to maintain low crime rates, we are just looking for an opportunity to discuss them with him.”
These groups seek a meeting with Mayor Bloomberg and hope to discuss the matter soon.
Here is a copy of the letter sent to Mayor Bloomberg by
The Honorable Michael R. Bloomberg
City Hall New York, NY 10007
Dear Mayor Bloomberg:
On June 17, 2012, a diverse group of civil rights, labor, faith, community and student leaders are planning a silent march in New York City to bring attention to the serious concerns of the communities we serve about abuses related to the stop and frisk policies of the NYPD.
As the NYPD’s own data shows, nearly 90% of the over 685,000 NYPD stops and frisks by the NYPD during 2011 targeted people of color, and 88% of those stopped were never arrested or given a summons. Additionally, guns were recovered in only 780 cases. We believe that these numbers prove a need for us to work together to implement more fair, effective, and proven public safety measures.
We believe that this is one of the most urgent civil rights issues facing communities of color in New York today. As representatives of communities who experience a disproportionate amount of violence, we are in complete agreement with you about the need to reduce crime and ensure public safety. However, we do not believe the NYPD’s racially and ethnically biased and excessive application of “stop and frisk” has done anything to make the public safer. Instead, it has exposed millions of innocent New Yorkers to racial profiling and humiliation by law enforcement officials throughout the city, undercutting the trust necessary between law enforcement and communities to sustain safe and secure communities.
We welcome the opportunity to begin a dialogue with you and members of your administration to create policies that allow the NYPD to engage in data driven tactics that use factually accurate information about crime and criminal incidents. For us, because New York City has one of the nation’s largest and most visible “stop and frisk” programs, ending this abusive, racially biased tactic is a critical step in ending racial profiling in this city and beyond.
We look forward to building a stronger, more cooperative and effective relationship between Law Enforcement and the communities they serve.
Benjamin Todd Jealous Rev. Al Sharpton George Gresham
President and CEO Founder and President President
NAACP National Action Network 1199 SEIU Health Care Workers East
Hazel N. Dukes Donna Lieberman
President Executive Director
NAACP New York State Conference New York Civil Liberties Union