Yasiin Bey drops a public service announcement to bring attention to the Floyd Trial and the controversial Stop-and-Frisk law that prompted it. The video arrives as Floyd vs. The City of New York comes to a close following months of testimony in Federal District Court in Manhattan. The trial brought by four plaintiffs questions a policy affecting millions of citizens with complaints against the NYPD related to profiling that they consider to be a direct violation of their fourth amendment rights. Their complaints are supported by NYPD officers who have acted as whistle-blowers, providing audio evidence of departmental orders to meet profiling quotas. The Stop-and-Frisk law has drawn criticism because of its failure to reduce crime as it raises frustration amongst citizens who have been targeted by a policy they feel is racially motivated, unnecessarily invasive and largely ineffective. While she has heard closing arguments in the case, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin is not expected to reach a decision for several months. Keep your eyes peeled for the final word on this controversial argument. Peep the public service announcement from Yasiin Bey below. Scroll down for excerpts from a recent NPR report on the proceedings.
“I remember squad cars pulling up; they just pulled up aggressively, and the cops came out with their guns drawn,” Pert says.
“Threw me against the wall,” Ourlicht says. “Took everything out of my pockets, threw it on the floor, dumped my bag on the floor, my books and everything.”
“It left me embarrassed, humiliated and upset,” Pert adds.
Other testimony by whistle-blowing cops provided recordings at the trial where supervisors told officers to push up the number of stops.
“The police are told to get numbers,” says Jonathan Moore, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. “This is not what stop-and-frisk should be. Stop-and-frisk is a legitimate tool for law enforcement to use. It should not be the way you measure an officer’s future in the New York City Police Department.”
Lawyers for the plaintiffs argued that very few of the stops led to arrests or even the discovery of illegal guns. And even though the number of stops went down significantly in 2012, there were almost 5 million stops in 10 years.
Plaintiffs are asking Judge Scheindlin to put the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policies under judicial oversight, something the city and the NYPD definitely oppose.
The trial is really about two different questions. Police have the authority to stop someone, but at what point does that stop and that search violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution? Secondly, is the pattern of stop-and-frisk a form of racial profiling?