Over the years, I and countless other New Yorkers have heard far too many horror stories of young men of color being stopped, humiliated, embarrassed and disrespected for no good reason.
Real safety comes from a police department that follows the law and respects people's fundamental rights, building trust with communities rather than undermining it. This week's historic ruling is a tremendous step in the right direction.
Thanks to Bluetooth technology, it is now possible to be frisked while conducting a hands-free conference call with your arms pressed up against a wall. If you're not skilled at multi-tasking, simply send a group text that reads, "Can't talk, getting frisked."
We all know that a very small number of people are responsible for committing violent crimes in New York City. And because the majority of those suspected and arrested for violent crimes happen to be black and Latino, that fact should not give license to Bloomberg to demean and humiliate young black and Latino males.
The amount of taxpayer money spent on these incidents is enough to make anyone's head spin. It's simply out of control. And it might be time for the Mayor and Police Commissioner Kelly to accept the reality that police officers need to be retrained and an outside monitor must be established.
You cannot, by law or department policy, stop and question people without a reasonable suspicion that they have committed, are committing, or are about to commit a crime, nor can you pat them down without a reasonable suspicion that they are armed and presently dangerous.
Criminalization was one of the many tools white Americans used to limit the social inclusion of people of color during the eras of slavery and Jim Crow, since recognition of their full humanity would have significantly undermined the racial order. The criminalization we have been witnessing in recent decades has been more sophisticated but its racial outcomes are the same: the establishment of a visible and psychological connection between racial identity, crime, and place.
Stop-and-frisk is working. There are clearly fewer "bad guys" roaming the streets with guns, hard drugs, and other illegal possessions. If the NYPD is forced to no longer practice this policy, the results will be clear.
Parents and grandparents in this city are tired of having to warn their children about both criminals and the police. Do we want to see crime reduced? Absolutely, because they are doing it to us. But don't criminalize us at the same time.
On August 22, 1972, John Wojtowicz and two accomplices attempted to rob a bank in Brooklyn. Things didn't go as planned: first, one of the accomplices ran out, not able to go through with it.
Boston law enforcement authorities' bitterness and mistrust of past FBI actions, on view at Whitey Bulger's ongoing trial, have bubbled to the surface in the aftermath of Boston Marathon terror bombing.
During the last 10 years as I have invested, advised, and founded startups in New York City. I have also spent a significant amount of that time patrolling its streets as a member of the Auxiliary Unit of the New York Police Department.
Chronic surveillance is an addiction and one that's fed by an industry that has billions invested in creating the technology and supplying the operatives (like Snowden) that become cogs in the machinery that supports the larger matrix.
In the decades to come we may actually succeed in breaking with the entrenched patterns of old and building power among communities that for much of our nation's history have been marginalized.
It's time we as a society must decide whether or not the tools we use to protect us will eventually be our undoing.