11:21 am Jun. 18, 2012
Before the silent march down Fifth Avenue on Sunday, critics of New York City's stop-and-frisk policy spoke about why they were marching.
At the First Corinthians Baptist Church in Harlem, pastor Michael Walrond, Jr. told the mostly African-American audience that 88 percent of the people who were stopped were let go without an arrest, a ticket or a summons. He referred to it as "a quote-unquote 12 percent success rate."
"If the intended goal is to traumatize 88 percent of the people you stopped, then you've been successful," he added.
Later, Waldrond announced to his parishioners that Rodney King had been found dead at his California home earlier that day. "This is not coincidence," Waldrond said of King, whose 1991 assault by Los Angeles police officers was captured on amateur video and helped public the issue of police brutality. "God is up to something," said Waldrond.
Later, Al Sharpton took the stage and said even when black and Latino young men are in low-crime areas like Greenwich Village or the Upper East Side, they're still disproportionately stopped by the police.
That "means you profile us no matter where we are," he said.
Earlier that morning, Michael Bloomberg told a black church in Brooklyn that the administration and the police department are sensitive to the way in which stops are conducted. "If you’ve done nothing wrong, you deserve nothing but respect and courtesy from the police," the mayor said. "Police Commissioner Kelly and I both believe we can do a better job in this area, and he’s instituted a number of reforms to do that."
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