New Yorkers React
Reaction to the ruling has been pouring in from lawmakers, activists and others.
Queens City Council member Peter Vallone Jr. has been a defender of the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk tactic and is no fan of federally imposed oversight.
“The NYPD does not need an additional monitor, it already has 10. Cities like Chicago and Detroit, they need monitors, not the most diverse and best trained force in the country,” Vallone told WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.
But stop-and-frisk opponent Brooklyn council member Brad Lander said he welcomes a federal eye on the NYPD.
“I think the appointment of a monitor is a good step in reforming stop-and-frisk. Now I will say the judge writes that monitor will be specifically and narrowly focused on reforming the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk, so I believe we still also need an NYPD inspector general for broader, more proactive oversights,” Lander told Lamb.
Lander added the council will vote to override the mayor’s veto of the IG bill August 22.
Meanwhile, as CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, residents of minority communities reacted swiftly and strongly to the decision on Monday. Many cheered the ruling, but some wondered what would happen if the much-criticized technique comes to an end.
“I’m glad that this judge ruled it unconstitutional,” said Donald Agarrat of Harlem. “It’s something I think we all already knew.”
Like a lot of men in Harlem, Agarrat said he has been stopped and frisked on more than one occasion. He said he is a potential member of the “class” in the class action lawsuit that sparked the ruling.
Such people are easy to find.
“My only fear is I’ll be stopped for the wrong thing and won’t be able to prove it,” said Harrison Young of Jamaica, Queens.
It may be a matter of perception, but a check on the street in any community of color in New York City will reveal a near-unanimity of attitude, an intensity of personal experience and an opinion that the “stop and frisk” techniques are not all that different from police techniques of an uglier past, Young reported.
“When you grow up, you learn that the world will view you as a criminal — guilty until you prove your innocence,” said Noche Diaz of Harlem.
“It has a psychological effect if you feel when you walk down the street, what’s going to happen — do I have to carry ID at all times?” said Gordon Easley of Harlem.
But some agreed with the city that a reduction in crime is what ultimately matters.
“It’s how you carry yourself; your character,” said Gerald Money of Harlem. “If you have your pants all the way down –10, 15 guys — quite naturally I want to stop them too because you’re probably up to no good.”
“We need stop and frisk to get guns off the street,” said Janail Van Doten of the Bronx. “It can save a life.” Van Doten lost a son to gun violence.
The matter will ultimately be decided with a ruling on the Bloomberg administration’s appeal.
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