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New poll: More NYers unhappy with stop-and-frisk

STEPHON JOHNSON Amsterdam News Staff | 4/11/2013, 4:21 p.m.
According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, the New York Police Department's (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy...
Stop and Frisk on trial: week three

According to the latest Quinnipiac University poll, the New York Police Department's (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy has become increasingly unpopular among New Yorkers.

Coming off the back of last month's City Council hearing on the Community Safety Act and field hearings concerning stop-and-frisk in Brooklyn and Queens, a poll by the Quinnipiac Polling Institute this month revealed that 53 percent of New Yorkers do not approve of the policy that allows the NYPD to randomly stop, search and frisk citizens, who are usually Black or Latino, on the street.

But the real decrease could be seen when broken down by race and political affiliation.

When comparing polls conducted in August to polls conducted this month, the disapproval rate of the stop-and-frisk policy among Hispanics went up 19 percent (from 45 percent to 64 percent), and there was a 3 percent increase in the disapproval rate among both women and men.

"As New Yorkers learn the truth about how Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg and Commissioner [Ray] Kelly's discriminatory stop-and-frisk policing practices affect their neighbors and fail to reduce gun violence, they continue to reject them," said Communities United for Police Reform spokesperson Joo-Hyun Kang. "These latest results show more and more New Yorkers are disapproving of stop-and-frisk. New York needs meaningful reforms, and the City Council must use its power to deliver them by swiftly passing the Community Safety Act."

While the approval rate of stop-and-frisk remains high among Republicans, support still dropped from 88 percent in August to 83 percent in November, according to the poll. Also, despite the disapproval rating of stop-and-frisk remaining generally unchanged among Blacks (70 percent in August to 69 percent in November), there was a 3 percent increase in Blacks' approval rating of the practice (25 percent to 28 percent).

Hector Figueroa, president of 32 BJ SEIU, attributes the disapproval rate of stop-and-frisk to a desire to not be treated like a suspect just for walking down the street. "The city's stop-and-frisk practice fails to make us safer, but does succeed in the daily humiliation of law-abiding New Yorkers, most of them young people of color," he said in a statement. "We must stop this destructive, discriminatory practice now."

"No one should be abused and harassed by the police simply because they are Latino or because of where they live," added Javier H. Valdes, co-executive director of Make the Road New York. "The significant growth in Latino opposition to stop-and-frisk reflects the fatigue with being repeatedly stopped, frisked, abused and violated throughout this city by those who are supposed to protect us.

"We are tired of this unjust treatment and are organizing our communities to reject the discriminatory policing that has been allowed to flourish under the current administration," concluded Valdes.