Tag Archives: racism in America

5 Disturbing Revelations from the NYPD Stop-and-Frisk Trial About Aggressive, Racist Policing

Moorbey’z Blog

Original post: http://moorbey.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/5-disturbing-revelations-from-the-nypd-stop-and-frisk-trial-about-aggressive-racist-policing/

2013/04/19 · by 

The landmark class-action suit has revealed a lot about the NYPD, and it’s not pretty.
April 18, 2013  |

The city of New York is in the midst of a landmark class-action lawsuit. The suit, Floyd v. the City of New York, alleges that the NYPD has routinely violated the Constitution by stopping and searching black and Latino New Yorkers based on their skin color. Since Michael Bloomberg became mayor of New York City in 2002, stop-and-frisk increased by 600%, from 100,000 New Yorkers targeted to almost 685,000 in 2011. Nearly 90% of those stopped are black or Latino, and police are more likely to use force while stopping New Yorkers of color.

Grassroots community groups and national civil rights organizations have claimed for years that the NYPD’s aggressive tactics have inflicted too high a price on the “high-crime” areas affected. But the trial, expected to run well into May, has already presented some unbelievable revelations of police misconduct and abuse, with high-profile witnesses, including high-ranking NYPD officers, delivering gut-wrenching and shocking testimony. Here are five revelations from the trial.

1. Police are forced by their superiors to make up (illegal) quotas, encouraged to make bogus stops.

NYPD whistleblowers Pedro Serrano and Adhyl Polanco put their careers on the line when they secretly recorded supervisors demanding officers conduct a set amount of stops (five), summonses (20), and arrests (one) per month. Quotas for NYPD activity are illegal under New York labor law, but the city maintains that “performance standards” or “goals” that do not include punishments for officers who fail to meet them are perfectly legal. According to Polanco and Serrano, “performance standard” is just a euphemism for a quota forcing officers to meet numbers. Sometimes this requires them to break the law.

“We were handcuffing kids for no reason,” Polanco testified about the 41st Precinct in the Bronx. He said that supervisors questioning quantity “will never question the quality.” “They just want to make sure we have them. How we got them, they don’t really care about,” said Polanco.

In one of Polanco’s recordings, a supervisor says, “The goal is at least one arrest per month and 20 summons,” and an officer who fails to meet the quota may become a “Pizza Hut delivery man.”

“Things are not going to get any better. It is going to get a lot worse,” the supervisor says about numbers.

Polanco explained that superiors retaliated against officers who failed to meet or complained about quotas.

“They said, if we were willing to keep working with our partners, we better come up with the numbers; that if we want to ask for days off, we better come up with the numbers; that if we wanted overtime, the chiefs control the overtime, and that if we don’t do our numbers, we are not going to get it. We were told that it was non-negotiable, that they are going to force us to do it if we didn’t do it.”

“They can make your life very miserable,” he said.

2. NYPD cop admits to setting quotas.

Deputy Chief Michael Marino testified that when he became Commanding Officer of the 75th Precinct in 2002, he set “performance goals” or “standards” of 10 summonses and one arrest per month. When the judge asked, “So was there a performance goal of 10 summonses and one arrest?” Marino responded, “As per an administrative guide that was present at the time, I set the standards as was mandated to me by the police department, yes.”

Marino testified that upon entering the 75th Precinct, he learned that, “Surprisingly enough, the 400 or so officers assigned to patrol all saw exactly five summonses every month, no more, no less,” adding that “It told me that they had set their own quota.”

Marino testified that he did an analysis of crime conditions in the area and then, “I asked them to increase their summons production from five to 10. I asked them to try to make two good stops a month and to attempt to make one arrest a month.“

Still, he denied ever punishing officers solely for failing to meet his numbers.

3. Spinning evidence.

In 2007, the NYPD’s Office of Management Analysis and Planning (OMAP) commissioned a study by the RAND Corporation to determine whether the department’s stop-and-frisk tactic was driven by racial bias.

Given that close to 90% of police encounters involved non-whites, the report asked, “Do these statistics point to racial bias in police officers’ decisions to stop particular pedestrians? Do they indicate that officers are particularly intrusive when stopping nonwhites?”

In a summary of the report’s findings, RAND found, “small racial differences in these rates” based on which they made “communication, recordkeeping, and training recommendations to the NYPD for improving police-pedestrian interactions.”

That was the final report. But testimony at Thursday’s stop-and-frisk trial suggests that the NYPD pressured the reports’ authors to soften some of their original language. The project’s coordinator, Terry Riley, testified that in their contract the RAND Corporation agreed to take the NYPD’s concerns “into consideration.” The NYPD did indeed voice concerns about early drafts of the report, which plaintiffs say led to several alterations to the final product.

In the first draft, the report’s authors wrote of “disturbing evidence” that there was unequal treatment across race groups. After the NYPD objected to the language, that section was rewritten to say that there was “some evidence” of this. In another version of the report, they originally asked whether every stop that uncovered wrongdoing was worth stopping nine “innocent pedestrians.” The department apparently found the language offensive, and it was changed to “suspects who committed no crime.”

Darius Charney from the Center for Constitutional Rights,an attorney representing the plaintiffs, claims that the evidence they presented of emails complaining about these aspects of the report, and subsequent changes, show that the NYPD “clearly had a hand in spinning the results” even if they didn’t doctor the data.

4. Searching groins and socks…for guns?

Stop-and-frisk is supposed to get guns off the streets. Yet officers allegedly search areas where a gun cannot be reasonably hidden, and these searches are often the most invasive and humiliating.

There have been widespread allegations that NYPD frisks and searches go too far. As I recently reported, people have complained that police search their genital areas and buttocks for drugs, even though police are only allowed to search an area where they have observed a bulge and need to confirm it’s not a weapon.

A plaintiff in the case, 24-year-old Nicholas Peart, testified that, on two separate stops, officers searched him inappropriately. One day police demanded he and some relatives get down on the ground. He broke down when he described what happened next.

“They patted over my basketball shorts and I was touched,” he said, adding that they felt his groin.

In April 2011 Peart was on his way to pick up milk for his siblings. A police officer handcuffed him, removed his shoes and felt his socks, asking “if I had weed on me,” he said.

Queens College sociologist Harry Levine, an expert on stop-and-frisk, has linked the NYPD’s astonishing marijuana arrest rate to its use of stop-and-frisk. The NYPD arrests about 50,000 people annually for marijuana, the vast majority of them black or Latino and in the same neighborhoods where stop-and-frisk is prevalent. It’s telling that in 2012, after controversy surrounding stop-and-frisk heated up, both the policing tactic and marijuana arrests dropped by the same amount — 22% percent.

5) NY Senator: NYPD Commissioner told me stop-and-frisk is a fear tactic.

New York Senator Eric Adams (D-20th District) testified on April 1 that at a July 2010 meeting with Governor Andrew Cuomo about a bill (which he co-sponsored) to ban a database of persons stopped but not charged, he raised his concern about the “disproportionate” number of young black and Latino men stopped by police, prompting the Commissioner to say the tactic is crucial for controversial reasons. “[Commissioner Kelly] stated that he targeted or focused on that group because he wanted to instill fear in them, every time they leave their home, they could be stopped by the police,” Adams testified.

“I told him that I believe it was illegal and that that was not what stop-and-frisk was supposed to be used for,” he testified, adding that Kelly responded by asking, “How else are we going to get rid of guns?”

Adams later told reporters he considered Kelly’s statement evidence that, “It was not the people on the ground,” provoking illegal stops but “a policy being blessed from the top down.”

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.
 

The Battle Continues

The preceding article spoke of recent revelations about policies of deliberate intimidation against African-Americans and Hispanics by the NYPD that have been coming out in a court case filed against that department. It is disturbing but telling.

I have no doubt that from what I have read over the years that this is policy in most police departments in any city where there are African-Americans and or Hispanic/Latino people in any numbers. I can remember back in the 70’s working in a Des Moines, IA Emergency Room and hearing the kinds of things the cops would  say about Blacks in the community. From what I read now about the arrests not much has changed in central Iowa.

White people are afraid of dark-skinned people. 

Once you get past our  swaggering we are very concerned they will hurt us because of all the Bull Shit we have been taught about them by the culture. They are violent, unpredictable, short-tempered, white haters blah blah blah. So what is the response? Well we must keep them under control and Stop and Frisk is one of the psychological warfare techniques that has been used.

It is warfare because white Americans have a tendency to declare a war on anything we fear or don’t understand. Consciously in some truly evil cases as here, and unconsciously in many of the rest of us. Most of us are unaware of our prejudices, and here I do mean those of us of any skintone. The enemy actually are a few individuals who through manipulation, theft, murder, genocide, and numerous other nefarious activities have brought about a separation of peoples.

By convincing us to fight one another, to distrust one another, to hate one another, they have effectively prevented us from “finding them out”. But the are BEING FOUND OUT! Through the Internet, through prayer, through revolution, through any number of means that the Creator is allowing they will and are being EXPOSED for what they are. Workers of iniquity and dealers in darkness. They are evil to the core and Daddy is going to deal with them SEVERELY.

This exposure is beginning in a case like this where it is evident that the tactics carried out by the NYPD were and are racist and deliberate attempts to rob individuals within the African-American and Hispanic communities of their Constitutional Rights. More importantly, it is evident to this writer and hopefully to others who are watching that this is about attempting to rob people of inalienable rights. Rights that all people everywhere are born with. 

The Right to travel free and unhindered without fear of harassment. The Right to freedom from search or seizure without warrant or strong suspicion of having committed a crime. These are rights that everyone has by reason of having been born into the world. They cannot and should not be subject to government control. So long as an individual is causing no one harm and there is no reason to suspect they have been involved in causing someone harm they should be left the hell alone.  

That, of course, is the whole point and has been all along. The minions (a servile dependent, follower, or underling) who are these Chiefs of Police, the Commissioner, even The President and other leaders of nations are merely puppets. While it is good they are being exposed we must remember they only serve. The path to those at the top will be paved with their poor souls. They will be mentally crushed as the plans of their masters continue to fail and they realize they chose the wrong side.

Lest one have too much compassion they did make a choice. Yahoveh always always gives people a choice even if the enemy causes them to feel as though they do not. Even death is preferable to serving the evil one. So…there is always a choice. Daddy wins folks.


The Conspiracy to Kill Martin Luther King Jr:

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deuts...

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deutsch: 1964: Martin Luther King Português: Martin Luther King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not a Theory But a Fact, According to Our Own Legal System

From: http://moorbey.wordpress.com/

Original: AlterNet /By Ira Chernus

April 4, 2013  |
Should the United States government be allowed to assassinate its own citizens? That question was in the air briefly not long ago. April 4 is an excellent day to revive it: On April 4, 1968, the government was part of a successful conspiracy to assassinate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
That’s not just some wing-nut conspiracy theory. It’s not a theory at all. It is a fact, according to our legal system.
In 1999, in Shelby County, TennesseeLloyd Jowers was tried before a jury of his peers (made up equally of white and black citizens, if it matters) on the charge of conspiring to kill Dr. King. The jury heard testimony for four full weeks.
On the last day of the trial, the attorney for the King family (which brought suit against Jowers) concluded his summation by saying: “We’re dealing in conspiracy with agents of the City of Memphis and the governments of the State of Tennessee and the United States of America. We ask you to find that conspiracy existed.”
It took the jury only two-and-half hours to reach its verdict: Jowers and “others, including governmental agencies, were parties to this conspiracy.”
I don’t know whether the jury’s verdict reflects the factual truth of what happened on April 4, 1968. Juries have been known to make mistakes and (probably rather more often) juries have made mistakes that remain unknown.
But within our system of government, when a crime is committed it’s a jury, and only a jury, that is entitled to decide on the facts. If a jury makes a mistake, the only way to rectify it is to go back into court and establish a more convincing version of the facts. That’s the job of the judicial branch, not the executive.
So far, no one has gone into court to challenge the verdict on the King assassination.
Yet the version of history most Americans know is very different because it has been shaped much more by the executive than the judicial branch. Right after the jury handed down its verdict, the federal government’s Department of Justice went into high gear, sparing no effort to try to disprove the version of the facts that the jury endorsed — not in a court of law but in the “court” of public opinion.
The government’s effort was immensely successful. Very few Americans are aware the trial ever happened, much less that the jury was convinced of a conspiracy involving the federal government.
To understand why, let’s reflect on how history, as understood by the general public, is made: We take the facts we have, which are rarely complete, and then we fill in the gaps with our imaginations — for the most part, with our hopes and/or fears. The result is a myth: not a lie, but a mixture of proven facts and the fictions spawned by our imaginings.
In this case, we have two basic myths in conflict.
One is a story Americans have been telling since the earliest days of our nation: Back in not-so-merry old England, people could be imprisoned or even executed on the whim of some government official. They had no right to prove their innocence in a fair, impartial court. We fought a bloody war to throw off the British yoke precisely to guarantee ourselves basic rights like the right to a fair trial by a jury of our peers. We would fight again, if need be, to preserve that fundamental right. This story explains why we are supposed to let a jury, and only a jury, determine the facts.
(By odd coincidence, as I was writing this the mail arrived with my summons to serve on a local jury. The website it directed me to urged me to feel “a sense of pride and respect for our system of justice,” because “about 95 percent of all jury trials in the world take place in the United States.”)
Then there’s another myth, a story that says the federal government has only assassinated American citizens who were truly bad people and aimed to do the rest of us harm; the government would never assassinate an innocent citizen. Most Americans devoutly hope this story is true. And most Americans don’t put MLK in the “bad guy” category. So they resist believing what the legal system tells us is true about his death.
Perhaps a lot of Americans would not be too disturbed to learn that the local government in Memphis or even the Tennessee state government were involved. There’s still plenty of prejudice against white Southerners. But the federal government? It’s a thought too shocking for most Americans even to consider. So they fill in the facts with what they want to believe — and the myth of James Earl Ray, “the lone assassin,” lives on, hale and hearty.
Since that’s the popular myth, it’s the one the corporate mass media have always purveyed. After all, their job is to sell newspapers and boost ratings in order to boost profits. Just a few days after the trial ended the New York Times, our “newspaper of record,” went to great lengths to cast doubt on the verdict and assure readers, in its headline, that the trial would have “little effect” — an accurate, though self-fufilling, prophecy.
Imagine if the accused had been not a white southerner but a black man, with known ties not to the government but to the Black Panther Party. You can bet that the trial verdict would have been bannered on every front page; the conspiracy would be known to every American and enshrined in every history book as the true version of events.
None of this necessarily means that the federal government and the mass media are covering up actual facts. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. Again, I don’t claim to know what really happened on April 4, 1968.
But there surely were people in the federal government who thought they had good reason to join a conspiracy to get rid of Dr. King. He was deep into planning for the Poor People’s Campaign, which would bring poor folks of every race and ethnicity to Washington, DC. The plan was to have them camp out on the Mall until the government enacted major economic reforms to lift everyone out of poverty. That meant redistributing wealth — an idea that made perfect sense to Dr. King, who was a harsh critic of the evils of capitalism (as well as communism).
It also meant uniting whites and non-whites in the lower income brackets, to persuade them that the suffering they shared in common was stronger than the racial prejudice that divided them. Dr. King did not have to be a prophet to foresee that the longer whites blamed non-whites, rather than the rich, for their troubles, the easier it would be to block measures for redistributing wealth. The unifying effect of the Poor People’s Campaign spelled trouble for those whose wealth might be redistributed.
At the same time, Dr. King was the most famous and respected critic of the war in Vietnam. By 1968 he was constantly preaching that the war was not just a tragic mistake. It was the logical outgrowth of the American way of life, based on what he called the inextricably linked “triplets” of militarism, racism, and materialism. Had he lived, the Poor People’s Campaign would have become a powerful vehicle for attacking all three and showing just how inseparable they are.
Yes, plenty of people in the federal government thought they had good reason to put an end to the work of Dr. King. But that hardly proves federal government complicity in a conspiracy to kill him.
So let’s assume for a moment, just for the sake of argument, that the jury was wrong, that James Earl Ray did the shooting and acted alone. The federal government would still have good reasons to suppress the conspiracy myth. Essentially, all those reasons boil down to a matter of trust. There is already immense mistrust of the federal government. Imagine if everyone knew, and every history book said, that our legal system has established as fact the government’s complicity in the assassination.
If the federal government has a convincing argument that the jury was wrong, we all deserve to hear it. There’s little advantage to having such uncertainty hanging in the air after 45 years. But the government should make its argument in open court, in front of a jury of our peers.
In America, we have only one way to decide the facts of guilt or innocence: not through the media or gossip or imagination, but through the slowly grinding machinery of the judicial system. At least that’s the story I want to believe.


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