Graham’s shooting inflamed an already tense relationship between New York City’s low-income communities of color and the NYPD, and prompted a review of the department’s street narcotics units.
Criticism Of Stop-And-Frisk Policy
The department is facing increasing criticism for its street-level policing practices, particularly in low-income neighborhoods. Critics say its so-called stop-and-frisk policy – which last year resulted in nearly 700,000 encounters between police and citizens – has led to the criminalization of minority youth. As with every year over the past decade, the vast majority of those stopped were African American or Latino and nearly nine out of 10 had committed no crime.
As a result, the Department of Justice announced last week that it is reviewing the controversial policy, following demands by campaigners who say the tactic is unconstitutional and racially discriminatory.
If justice department officials decided to launch a federal investigation or to intervene in lawsuits that are already under way, it would deal a significant blow to a policy that has been championed by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and his police chief Ray Kelly.
And that at least would be a small step forward.
Photo Credit: Vanissa W. Chan
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