12:56 pm Feb. 14, 2012
In a statement today, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer made a link between the police department's stop-and-frisk policy and the recent shooting death of an unnarmed Bronx teenager by a narcotics officer.
"It is hard not to see the killing as an extension of the NYPD’s stop and frisk policies," Stringer said in a public statement released shortly before he was set to attend an NYCLU press conference about the latest stop-and-frisk numbers, which were at a record high in 2011.
To my knowledge, Stringer, who is planning to run for mayor in 2013, is the first elected official to connect the stop-and-frisk policy directly to the death of a New York City resident.
At a rally with the teenager's family in the Bronx yesterday, Al Sharpton said anyone running for mayor needed to speak out about the young man's death if they wanted support from African-American voters.
Here's the full release from Stringer's office:
STATEMENT BY MANHATTAN BOROUGH PRESIDENT SCOTT M. STRINGER ON THE SHOOTING OF RAMARLEY GRAHAM
New Yorkers need answers now regarding the killing of Ramarley Graham -- a young, unarmed man who was shot to death in his own home during a warrantless search by the NYPD. It is hard not to see the killing as an extension of the NYPD’s stop and frisk policies. Today we learned that this policy resulted in a record 684,330 stops in 2011 – the vast majority of them aimed at men of color, who in 94% of cases are not arrested.
The overwhelming majority of our police officers put their lives on the line for us every day, and they need training policies and guidelines that keep them safe as well as the people they protect. We need to determine if the Graham case is an outgrowth of a system that relies on unconstitutional stops and widespread profiling and, as I have for months, I urge the Justice Department to examine the NYPD’s stop and frisk policies.
The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is intended to protect ALL Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures. We need to recognize that New York City will only be safe if we remain true to the constitutional principles that form the foundation of our freedom. It’s time for Mayor Bloomberg to step out of the shadow of Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and truly reform this policy before more people get hurt.