Opposition to Stop-and-Frisk grows

Following last month’s City Council hearing on the Community Safety Act and field hearings on stop-and-frisk in Brooklyn and Queens, disapproval of stop-and-frisk has grown jumps according to the results of the latest poll released last week by the Quinnipiac Polling Institute. The November Quinnipiac poll of New York City voters revealed that a majority (53 percent) disapproves of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk practice.

“As New Yorkers learn the truth about how Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Kelly’s discriminatory stop-and-frisk policing practices affect their neighbors and fail to reduce gun violence, they continue to reject them,” said Joo-Hyun Kang, a spokesperson for Communities United for Police Reform. “These latest results show more and more New Yorkers are disapproving of stop-and-frisk. New York needs meaningful reforms and the City Council must use its power to deliver them by swiftly passing the Community Safety Act.”

Disapproval of stop-and-frisk increased the most among Latina/o voters in New York City, going from 45 percent in Quinnipiac’s August poll to 64 percent in its November poll released last week. Such broad growth in disapproval demonstrates the increasingly vocal hostility to the practice within New York City’s Latina/o communities.

“The city’s stop-and-frisk practice fails to make us safer, but does succeed in the daily humiliation of law-abiding New Yorkers, most of them young people of color,” said Héctor Figueroa, president of 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union. “We must stop this destructive, discriminatory practice now.”

“Like anyone, I want to be able to take my daughter to daycare, go to work or go anywhere else in this city without being stopped, frisked and illegally searched by the police,” said Riko Guzman, a spokesperson for the Justice Committee. “Unfortunately, the reality I and other Latinos face is that we are consistently subjected to unnecessary and unjust NYPD police encounters. This must stop. That’s why the Justice Committee is organizing to build support for the Community Safety Act. The reform it offers is a first step towards meaningful change so that all New Yorkers are treated with dignity and respect by the NYPD.”

“No one should be abused and harassed by the police, simply because they are Latino or because of where they live,” said Javier H. Valdes, co-executive director of Make the Road New York. “The significant growth in Latino opposition to stop-and-frisk reflects the fatigue with being repeatedly stopped, frisked, abused and violated throughout this city by those who are supposed to protect us. We are tired of this unjust treatment and are organizing our communities to reject the discriminatory policing that has been allowed to flourish under the current administration.”

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