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NAACP President Jealous Denounces Stop-And-Frisk Policy

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — NAACP President Benjamin Jealous denounced the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy in a sermon Sunday, and announced a second wave of activism against the policy.

Jealous spoke Sunday at the Nazarene Congregational Church, at 506 Macdonough St. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

The NAACP has called the policy “abusive and discriminatory,” and said it disproportionately targets people of color and has not been proven effective.

“It sows division in this greatest of all cities, because it puts a wedge between the most victimized neighborhoods in the city, and the very people who have sworn a professional oath to protect and serve,” Jealous told WCBS 880.

Jealous argued the program does not even work based on the NYPD’s own figures.

“Seven hundred thousand stop-and-frisks, 700 guns – that’s outrageous. By any corporate metric, any military metric, any police metric – that’s an abject failure,” Jealous said. “When 99.9 percent of people you stop don’t have a gun, and your very justification is to reduce gun violence, it’s pitiful.”

Last year, Jealous led protesters down Fifth Avenue in a demonstration against the policy.

An NAACP news release pointed out that in the months after the march, stop-and-frisk policing declined by 34 percent. But the organization said racial disparities remained intact, with 87 percent of those stopped under the policy being black or Hispanic.

In his State of the City address last week, Mayor Michael Bloomberg staunchly defended the stop-and-frisk policy as a necessary law enforcement tool.

“Make no mistake, we have a responsibility to conduct them, and as long as I am mayor, we will not shirk from that responsibility,” Bloomberg said. “Is there anyone here who would sacrifice his or her life and the lives of their families and friends to end stops? I don’t think so.”

But not everyone at the Thursday address at the Barclays Center was in agreement with Bloomberg on the subject.

And in rare interruption, Councilman Jumaane Williams screamed out at the mayor when he was talking about stop and frisk.

“Basically I said ‘It’s not true, that’s wrong and it doesn’t work — it’s a failed policy,'” Williams told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Williams wasn’t the only one one upset by the mayor’s statements.

“I don’t agree with his perspective that the way it’s being implemented is the centerpiece, if you will, of our criminal justice safety,” said City Council Speaker Christine Quinn.

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