Controversial New York City laws permitting the use of stop-and-frisks have ignited controversy, raising concerns over racial profiling and privacy violations. Now, artists, MC Grizzz and Akil b STRANGe spark the conversation with a music video exploring the practice's pitfalls and how people of color are affected.
The video opens with an image of a 16-year-old victim, who had recorded cops telling him that he was being stopped because he's a "fucking mutt," last year.
Akil b STRANGe speaks to his own experience as a black man in NYC, and raps, "I became aware of the inequities between them (non-minorities) and me. Like how much tenser I would be with cops in the vicinity?"
Despite efforts by people like Councilman Jumaane Williams (seen at 1:47) to pass legislation to reduce stop-and-frisks, Akil b STRANGe feels that profiling has been "so ingrained as a part of police procedure," that an end to the program is hard to imagine.
The black male's perspective is juxtaposed by MC Grizz, who does not live with the same type of fear of the NYPD because he is white. He speaks to the unfairness of the laws, and the explicit racism that still exists.
The rap ends powerfully with a Bloomberg quote. "I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little." The statistic shown in the video at 2:25 reads, "NYC population black and latino: 52%; Stopped by police: 84% black and latino."
What do you think about stop-and-frisk? Do you have personal experiences to share? Tell us in the comments below.