October 22nd Coalition: Racial profiling as American as … you know the rest

Nayaba Arinde | 10/24/2013, 5:25 p.m.

So on Oct. 22, the coalition urged those acknowledging police brutality to “wear black, fight back!” as part of an ongoing mission to highlight the national pandemic of racial profiling and police brutality.

“Racial profiling disproportionately targets people of color for investigation and enforcement, alienating communities from law enforcement, hindering community policing efforts and causing law enforcement to lose credibility and trust among the people they are sworn to protect and serve,” said the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Traveling across the U.S. as national vice chairperson of the National Black United Front, I have witnessed various forms of racial profiling,” says Adofo. “For example, in Washington, D.C., there are teams of police known as ‘jump-out squads,’ and in NYC, there is the ‘operation stop-and-frisk.’ Both of these police elements target African-American and Latino communities with no apparent reason other than to harass and intimidate.”

This summer, Bloomberg said, “We disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little.”

With 685,724 people stopped in 2011 and 533,042 last year—90 percent of whom were Black or Latino, and with only a 10 percent arrest rate—Bloomberg determined that it is the 9 percent of stopped whites who are being targeted, while the number of people of color who are stopped should be higher.

“His remarks are assinine and just plain ignorant,” said Brooklyn City Council Member Charles Barron. “Studies show that more whites are caught with guns than Blacks.”

This past summer, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk practices violated the Constitution. At around the same time, the City Council passed the Community Safety Act (two bills: Intro 1079, the NYPD Oversight Act, and Intro 1080, the End NYPD Discriminatory Profiling Bill). The City Council agreed that there must be an independent monitor of the NYPD and an end to the NYPD discriminatory profiling.

The October 22nd Coalition states that constant monitoring of the nation’s police departments is crucial. To prove this, the Coalition refers to several cases: “In Bakersfield, Calif., 33-year-old David Silva was hog-tied and savagely beaten to death by law enforcement officers, who had found him passed out on a street. The vicious killing of 30-year-old Melissa Williams and 40-year-old Timothy Russell, shot down in a hail of 137 bullets by Cleveland police, has been described as a modern-day lynching. As of yet, the 13 officers are still on the job.

“In an assisted living home in Chicago, 95-year-old John Wrana was killed by police after being tasered and shot with a bean bag round.

“Witnesses say that Miami Beach police high-fived each other after tasering to death 18-year-old graffiti artist Israel Hernandez-Llach.

“Police around the country continue to kill young Black men with impunity, such as 25-year-old Cary Ball Jr., killed in a hail of 25 bullets by St. Louis, Mo., police, and 16-year-old Kimani Gray, shot seven times by NYPD, three times in the back.

“In Dallas, Texas, the last time a killer cop was indicted was in 1973. Dallas police have killed 250 since, with 68 Black men killed since 2001. Over and over, we hear the justifications for police brutality and killing. The reason Miami-Dade police gave for restraining and choking 14-year-old Tremaine McMillian, that he gave ‘dehumanizing stares,’ shows just how much law enforcement expects impunity.”