MXGM Statement on the Dropping of the Stop-and-Frisk Ruling Appeal
February 2, 2014 made 2 years since the NYPD’s murder of Ramarley Graham. February 4, 2014 made 15 years since the NYPD’s murder of Amadou Diallo. February 14, 2014 will make 1 year and 8 months since the NYPD’s murder of Shantel Davis. February 21, 2014 will make 7 months since the NYPD’s murder of Kyam Livingston. This list goes on and is still growing as the NYPD continues to murder Black and Brown people with impunity.
The morning after a packed forum on the history of legislation to end police violence nationwide, Mayor de Blasio announced that he will be dropping the appeal to Floyd v. the city of New York and move forward with the reforms ordered in Judge Shira Scheindlin’s ruling. Independent Monitor Peter L. Zimroth will proceed with developing reforms to the stop-and-frisk program. With members of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement involved in the Floyd case as named plaintiffs, we recognize the city’s decision to drop the appeal as the right one. However, there is still more work we must engage in to end stop-and-frisk and other forms of police violence in New York City. The remedies ordered by Judge Scheindlin can only be effectively implemented with the participation of directly impacted community members. We demand real community involvement in developing and implementing reforms in a city where police harassment, brutality and extrajudicial killings of Black New Yorkers have become the norm with the increased militarization of the NYPD. Community members will continue to hold the NYPD accountable through organizing, Cop Watch patrols and Know Your Rights education. In every encounter with the NYPD, it is essential to our survival to document police abuse and invoke our human rights as communities and individuals.
We urge the city council and Mayor de Blasio to support the passage of the Intro. 799 and Intro. 801, the two other Community Safety Act bills that were not voted on last summer. Intro. 799 requires officers to explain that a person has the right to refuse a search when there is no warrant or probable cause; and requires officers to obtain proof of consent to a search. Intro. 801 requires officers to provide the specific reason for their law enforcement activity, such as a stop-and-frisk; and requires officers to provide documentation to the person with the officer’s name and information on how to file a complaint at the end of each police encounter. These are critical pieces in the struggle for true accountability to the people.
Many families have lost loved ones at the hands of the NYPD and no one has been held accountable for those murders. These families are still without justice. The unconstitutional stop-and-frisk program is just one aspect of a policing system in need of serious reform and termination. This abuse of power and lack of accountability coupled with racial profiling can make experiences between the police and Black and Brown communities humiliating and deadly. Proceeding with the ruling in Floyd is a step in the right direction but many more steps need to be taken as we move forward, especially as we head back into a Bill Bratton-led police department, the innovator of the stop-and-frisk program and promoter of broken windows policing in New York City.