Monday, March 7, 2011

NYC Pays Stop and Frisk Victims

Mayor Bloomberg's racist and disgusting record-setting stop-and-frisk policies are costing taxpayers in our city large amounts of money that we don't have.

Record Setting Stop and Frisk Activity

Mayor Bloomberg has focused his law enforcement strategy on stopping innocent people of color. He has set a new record each year for stop-and-frisk activity, and while approximately 90% of those stopped are completely innocent, approximately 90% of those stopped are people of color. Our city is 53% people of color, but only 10% of our stop-and-frisk victims are white.

Law suits and public criticism of Mayor Bloomberg's racist approach to law enforcement have not stopped to steady growth in the number of victims each year. The Mayor's reaction suggests that the racist policy is one of his most important initiatives.

Many defenders of the Mayor's racist policies have suggested that the racial make-up of the stop-and-frisk victims results from the descriptions provided by crime victims. The records of stop-and-frisk activity in NYC demonstrate that the reason given most often for the stops is that the stop-and-frisk victim was behaving suspiciously. A "fit-the-description" excuse was almost never given for a stop. It turns out that people of color are viewed as suspicious by the NYPD, and their suspicious behavior causes the stops, even though 90% of those stopped are completely innocent.

One can imagine how long a stop-and-frisk policy would last that stopped more than one-third of all of the innocent white people in a white neighborhood every year. In Harlem, more than a third of the residents are stopped each year, yet the policy continues to escalate its abuse of innocent people of color.

Stop-and-Frisk Victim Payouts

NYC has paid approximately $170,000 to victims of the stop-and-frisk abuse that Mayor Bloomberg has insisted on bringing to neighborhoods of color.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Legal Aid Society filed suit against NYC as a result of the stop-and-frisk abuse occurring in public housing, and the costly settlements may be just the start of the cost of continuing the Mayor's racist and abusive policies.

There are plaintiffs still pursuing litigation against the city for the stop-and-frisk disaster that Mayor Bloomberg continues to force upon us.

If litigation fails to stop the escalating abuse, legislation might be a better path. I hope that the State Legislature and/or the City Council will limit this abuse soon.

Women's Health and Fitness Day at the Intrepid

You don't want to miss Women's Health and Fitness Day on March 13th at the Intrepid near the West Side Highway and 44th Street in Manhattan. It is a full day of health related events, including interactive fitness demonstrations and educational programs.

As we have discussed in the past, improved health in NYC is crucial to our economic future. We are in the midst of a health crisis, and the upcoming Women's Health and Fitness Day is part of overcoming the forced that are robbing residents in NYC of their health and their lives.

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