After the jump is a short film by Video Nation containing what may be the only audio recording of a real-time stop and frisk conducted by the NYPD. In case you haven’t heard, the NYPD’s stop and frisk program gives any policeman license to stop any “suspicious”-looking person, suspicious meaning brown.
And for my white friends who—whenever this topic arises—love to point out that they’ve been harassed by the police at some point too, A) Cops are dicks and B) Please revisit these numbers and then have a seat. Sorry you got stopped, but clearly this isn’t a white man’s problem.
If you have high blood pressure, don’t watch the video until you’ve taken your meds.
I consider myself a pretty even-keeled person and I tend to think things through. I get the logic behind the program. I, Angry Black Man in New York City, am admitting that the idea of the program doesn’t seem all that offensive on the surface. The majority of crime in NYC happens in a select number of neighborhoods. Most of the people who live there happen to be brown. So, if you increase police presence in high crime neighborhoods and say “let’s stop anyone who looks suspicious because they may be up to something” you would naturally end up with a lot of colored people being questioned by the police.
On the surface. And that’s where Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Ray Kelly stop analyzing—on the surface. These assholes act like they can’t read a bar graph that clearly says 90% of the people you’re stopping haven’t done anything, meaning you haven’t caught a criminal and you haven’t affected the crime rate. Yes, crime is way down and NYC is largely a safe place to live, but not because you have a bunch of prejudiced cops out there rounding up minorities by the hundreds and trying to incite a reaction to make an arrest.
Say I’m a baker, and sometimes my morning muffins get burnt because I leave them in too long. All of them will come out great except one or two. However, when I watch the muffins, I can see the one or two getting brown and take them out early. Sure, I have to sit and stare at the oven for hours and hours, but at least my one muffin out of the tin can be saved from burning. Is it worth the effort? Is sitting in front of the oven all day every day worth catching one out of ten muffins? Because that’s what this stop and frisk policy is. It’s expending a lot of effort, harassing innocent people, sewing more seeds of ill will between minorities and authorities, just to catch one guy out of ten suspects who has a weapon or a joint.
And even all of that obvious racism and discrimination would be a lot less distressing if the cops would just do the job and keep it moving. But no. They have to act like assholes and this video proves it. The mayor and the commissioner can no longer give press conferences saying these “minor inconveniences” are conducted with the utmost respect and decency for citizens because we all know what time it is.
I <3 NY.