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Asian Americans are set to join a silent march on Father’s Day against New York Police Department’s “Stop and Frisk” policy, it was learned Thursday.
According to the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), it will join over 200 civil rights, labor, faith, and community groups against the increased number of street stops of people of color.
In 2011, NYPD officers conducted 685,724 street stops, a 600-percent increase since New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s first year in office, when officers conducted 97,000 stops, AALDEF said.
More than 4 million people have been stopped under the Bloomberg administration, despite the fact that 9 out of 10 people stopped are completely innocent – meaning that they are neither arrested nor ticketed, the organization added.
“Stop and Frisk is a prime example of the NYPD's blatant use of racial profiling to criminalize and suspect innocent people,” said Nermeen Arastu, staff attorney at AALDEF.
"We want to ally with other groups of color, including Blacks and Latinos, to fight for the equal and fair treatment of people of color by the NYPD,” Arastu added.
“Wasting our resources on such ineffective policing will put all New Yorkers further at risk,” he added.
The silent march was first used in 1917 by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to draw attention to race riots in East St. Louis, Illinois, and to build national opposition to lynching. Ninety-five years later, national civil rights groups such as AALDEF are marching again to protest Stop and Frisk as the number of street stops of people of color in New York City has skyrocketed.
AALDEF has taken a stand against ineffective NYPD policies that curtail the human rights of any New York City residents, including calling for the US Department of Justice to investigate the NYPD’s surveillance of American Muslims, and launching Go FOIL Yourself, an initiative to help innocent New Yorkers file Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests to find out if they are the subject of the NYPD’s illegal surveillance.
“Like the surveillance of American Muslims, Stop and Frisk humiliates and stigmatizes innocent people and chills their day to day life,” said Arastu.
“We are concerned with the systematic breakdown in trust that the NYPD has fostered between itself and communities of color in New York City,” added Arastu.
According to AALDEF, the march assembly will start at 3 p.m. on West 110th St. between Central Park West/8th Ave. and Fifth Ave. The march begins at 110th St. and Fifth Ave., then south on Fifth Ave. to 78th Street.