Monday, August 16, 2010

You fit the "profile"...hmmm

As progressives unite this summer to fight racial profiling of immigrants in Arizona, a New York Times investigation in July offered a stark reminder of how routine profiling has become in some black neighborhoods around the country. The Times reviewed data on stops over four years in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville, a predominantly African American community that’s dense with public housing. Reporters found police made nearly 52,000 stops in an eight-block radius over just four years. Just 1 percent of the stops yielded arrests and cops found only 26 guns.

ColorLines spent an afternoon last week in Brownsville. We visited the Brownsville Recreation Center to speak with the young men NYPD’s stops have targeted. According to the NYT, cops use expansive authority for investigating trespassing in public housing as a pretext for many stops, often with the explicit goal of boosting stats showing enforcement actions. The Brownsville rec center we visited serves the nearby housing projects, and the young men who come there say stop-and-frisks are now a routine part of their lives. Watch them speak for themselves in the video above, then grab the embed code and pass it along.
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