Saturday, June 9, 2012

Christine Quinn : ''Stop and Frisk'' Enabler


Not even civil liberties groups, African-American community organizations, or even other minority community leaders, have been able to appeal to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to take action to put an end to the NYPD's controversial and undoubtedly illegal ''stop and frisk'' policy.

The New York Police Department has a deliberate and agency-approved policy of stopping citizens of minority races in the police department's efforts to fight crime. Since social and cultural prejudice guide this NYPD policy, you have a situation where the NYPD unfairly targets young men from minority groups. And because this policy, which is known as ''stop and frisk,'' is so aggressive, the fact that so many young minority males' first encounter with the judicial system is a discriminatory state-sponsored policy, any entrapment or crime-baiting that takes place as a result of ''stop and frisk'' may act as a gateway for those being targeted to have their lives ruined by being ensnared in the police department's aggressive tactics.

And it's not just young minority men, whose lives are being destroyed by this discriminatory policy, but also young minority women : ''Poor people of color from the trans community (of which there were many at the Stonewall riots) are often assumed to be prostitutes and are routinely harassed by the NYPD; carrying condoms on your person can now be presumed as proof that you are a prostitute by the NYPD,'' reported The Village Voice reporter Steven Thrasher.

What does this have to do with Speaker Christine Quinn ? As a leader of City Council, it is her job to serve as a check on the over-reach of power by the Bloomberg administration, and, by extension, on NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly. But, as we know all too well, anytime that citizens call on our elected representatives to take courageous action to bring equality and fairness, nobody is able to rely on Speaker Quinn.

In this interview, Mr. Thrasher is critical of the Human Rights Campaign and the Empire State Pride Agenda, which have celebrated Mayor Michael Bloomberg in the past, but who won't hold the same mayor accountable for his discriminatory and illegal police practices.

And the criticism by Mr. Thrasher of the ''stop and frisk'' press conference at the Stonewall Inn, and the many hundred posts on this very blog point out, also roll up to Speaker Quinn, who is a very close political ally of Mayor Bloomberg. In spite of the fact that her office should be used as a check on his questionable use of power, she has subjugated herself all along to Mayor Bloomberg solely to advance her own political career.

And so what you essentially have happening at press conferences, like the one that took place at the Stonewall Inn, is a farce of a politically-staged event, where everybody stands around and says that they don't like the NYPD's ''stop and frisk'' policy, but nobody is willing to take any action at all to put an end to the policy.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for explaining the political environment around stop and frisk. This reminds me of the living wage press conference, where Quinn, who watered down the bill to virtually nothing, is given credit for it.