Imagine being suddenly stopped, harassed and questioned by police several times in one day, while walking down the street near your home for looking “suspicious.” 17-year-old, Alvin, of Harlem, NY has been a victim of NYPD’s Stop-And-Frisk policy on several occasions. He finally decided to take matters into his own hands when he secretly recorded one of the incidents on his cell phone. His recording, which is included in a documentary by filmmaker and freelancer for The Nation, Ross Tuttle, is the only known audio of a Stop-And-Frisk interaction.
During the June 2011 incident, a police officer can be heard saying, “Oh, you again” at the beginning of Alvin’s recording. The teen was stopped for a second time on the same day while walking home from his girlfriend’s house. During the interrogation, an officer threatens to smack Alvin and punch him in the face. After being repeatedly asked why he was being stopped, an officer responds, “For being a f—ing mutt! You know that?!”
“He grabbed me by my bookbag and he started pushing me down. So I’m going backwards like down the hill and he just kept pushing me, pushing me, it looked like he we was going to hit me,” Alvin recounts. “I felt like they was trying to make me resist or fight back.”
One veteran officer says that some police will intentionally try to set a civilian off. The video reveals interviews with anonymous NYPD police veterans who say that the department encourages them to stop and frisk civilians and that not doing so could result in being reprimanded for not meeting what the department refuses to call a “quota” of stops per day.
In reference to Alvin’s experience, an NYPD veteran of 15 years says, “That’s exactly how some s— will go down, just like that. Just like that. People don’t like police because of the harassment and what civilians don’t understand is that the police department is forcing us to do these unreasonable stops or you’re going to get penalized.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, feel the program is necessary and have defended it. In the last decade of its use, stops have increased 600 percent with 87 percent of the nearly 700,000 people stopped in 2011 being either Black or Latino.
“We hear it from the captain [and] down, ‘We want 250s.’ This is stop, question and frisk,” another veteran stated.
Read the complete article on The Nation’s website.
Warning – this video contains some profane language as it is the actual audio from the police stop!
BMWK– Have you ever been unnecessarily questioned by police? What are your thoughts on the Stop-And-Frisk policy does it violate rights…is it necessary to stop crime? What could or should NYPD do instead to cut down on crime in NY?