In the fall of 2013, JustPublics@365 introduced the first of three online social justice topic series. Each series featured leading academics, activists, and journalists who shared their research, experiences, and perspectives on a given topic. They did this through blog posts, podcasts, and infographics on the JustPublics@365 website and social media channels. Each topic series was then compiled into free downloadable modules for individuals, community activists, academics and journalists, to use as teaching tools.
IMAGINING NEW YORK CITY AFTER STOP-AND-FRISK
October 10th to November 10th 2013
Imagining New York City After Stop-and-frisk asked academics, activists, and journalists to reimagine New York City after the end of stop-and-frisk and to consider how civic engagement and greater democracy might be promoted for all residents.
Stop-and-frisk has been a tool used by the NYPD for decades, though in recent years the number of criticisms and grassroots protests around police tactics has increased tremendously. In the case of Terry v. Ohio (1968), the United States Supreme Court established a national legal basis allowing officers to stop, question and frisk citizens. This decision allowed police officers to stop and detain individuals based on reasonable suspicion rather than a higher-level proof of probable cause. According to the NYCLU, New Yorkers have been subjected to police stops and street interrogations more than 4 million times since 2002. Nearly 9 out of 10 of those stopped and frisked have been completely innocent with Black and Latino communities representing an overwhelming target of these tactics.
While Mayor Bloomberg and New York City police officials have stated stops-and-frisks are beneficial for decreasing crime, citizens of NYC affected by stop-and-frisk saw these tactics as intrusive, unwarranted and ineffective. Together with activists, journalist, and academics, the city of New York City organized to shed light on the realities of stop-and-frisk and on August 12th, 2013, the U.S. District Court Judge Shira Scheindlin found that the New York City Police Department had violated the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments in the way that they have conducted stop-and-frisks.
In June of 2013, Community United Against Police Reform released a series of short documentaries that highlight the impact of stop-and-frisk on ordinary citizens and communities in New York City. Take a look!