A union leader says his stop-and-frisk opposition is driven by fears for his son’s safety

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One of the organizers of the silent march this Sunday in opposition to the city's stop-and-frisk policy said he is "literally afraid" for the safety of his 22-year-old son if he's stopped by policeo officers.

Before the start of the Puerto Rican Day parade yesterday, George Gresham, the president of the powerful health care workers union 1199 SEIU, told me, "At the rate that the stop-and-frisks occur--it's not if, but when he is eventually stopped and frisked--will he have the presence of mind that he doesn't present in any way danger to the officers that are stopping and frisking him? ... Will he then react in a way that police end up using deadly force as a justification because they feel threatened?" 

The New York Civil Liberties Union calculated that the NYPD has conducted a greater number of stop-and-frisks of young black and Latino men than there are young black and Latino men in New York City.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday, "The average patrol officer makes one stop every 10 days and conducts a frisk once every 19 days."

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"I'm literally afraid, because you talk to your family and the people you care about and you tell them how to act appropriately, if they are detained, how to behave appropriately," Gresham said. "But you never know."