Last year, the NYPD conducted 685,724 stops of residents throughout the city. Of those numbers, 53 percent of people stopped were black, 34 percent were Latino, and just nine percent were white. Most alarming, however, is that 88 percent of those stopped and frisked by the police were totally innocent.
In spite of the disparity in the amount of stops between minorities and whites, the NYPD and Mayor Michael Bloomberg insist the stops are not a form a racial profiling, but rather aggressive police work. The mayor also contends that the stops are harmless and a brief annoyance to those who are innocent. But a recently obtained audio clip tells a completely different story.
Recently, the Nation procured a recording from a young man who documented his run-in with the police. After being stopped just a few blocks before, Alvin, a Harlem teen, was stopped once again by two plainclothes officers in his neighborhood.
What’s captured on tape is disturbing. After the young man, whose father is a traffic cop (the officers find this amusing), asks why he’s being stopped, one officer snarls it’s because he’s a “f—king mutt.”
During the recording, we also hear an officer threaten to punch the young man in the face, break his arm, and lock him up for having the audacity to ask questions.
The Nation used Alvin’s audio recording to delve deeper into the stop and frisk issue. During the short film clip, current and former NYPD officers detail how they have been encouraged to harass young black and Latino men who they know are not breaking any laws just to fulfill department quotas.
During one of the most honest and chilling parts of the film, one officer with over 10 years in the NYPD admits minorities are being “hunted.”
“The civilian population, they’re being hunted by us,” he says. “Instead of being protected by us, they’re being hunted and we’re being hated.”
*Photo via The Washington Post