These are the stories of the New York Police Department's notorious and illegal Stop and Frisk program, which saw 685,724 illegal searches in 2011 alone. The NYPD is only allowed to stop and search someone if they have reasonable
These are the stories of the New York Police Department's notorious and illegal Stop and Frisk program, which saw 685,724 illegal searches in 2011 alone. The NYPD is only allowed to stop and search someone if they have reasonable suspicion that they've committed a crime, making stops on the basis of skin color illegal. 87% of New York City's black and latino population has been stopped and frisked at some point, and as The New York Times reports in its Op-Doc, "The Scars of Stop and Frisk", the vast majority of those stopped are never ticketed or arrested - 88%, in fact. In a twisted kind of apartheid, young men and women of color in New York City are being stopped on the basis of their skin color and sometimes detained for hours without reason. Pioneered by the special crimes unit - the same one that killed Amadou Diallo, an innocent man suspected of a rape, in a hail of bullets in 1999 - stop and frisk is truly "the new Jim Crow," as an activist in Nina Berman's short doc on the subject dubs it.
"I'm in fear for my life from the law" RDACBX raps on "Stop! Stop and Frisk!" featuring Rebel Diaz, Vithym and Luss, the video for which features snapshots of recent victims of NYPD overreach and is "dedicated to the mothers of victims of Police Terrorism." It was produced after the February 2 killing of an unarmed 18-year-old, Rahmarley Graham, in the Bronx, which occurred a week after officers administered a Rodney King-style beating on another unarmed youth, 19-year-old Jatiek Reed. As victims of fatal police brutality have piled up - Patrick Dorismond, Sean Bell, Anthony Baez, Malcolm Ferguson, Anthony Rosario - a social movement has formed to reclaim the streets for the people.
Stop and Frisk from Nina Berman on Vimeo.
Nina Berman is a documentary photographer based in New York City with a particular interest in the American political and social landscape. She is the author of two monographs, "Purple Hearts - Read more...