DON'T WORRY!

Today please spend whatever time you'd ordinarily use to read Gin and Tacos to watch "The Hunted and the Hated: An Inside Look at the NYPD's Stop-and-Frisk Policy." It's only 13 minutes. A young man secretly recorded a stop/frisk incident and the audio is included along with interviews with NYPD officers who describe the way the NYPD and Mayor's office pressure cops to make as many as possible. Originally appeared at The Nation.

There are some neat Stop & Frisk apps as well as an ACLU app that allows smartphone users to secretly record interactions with the police. This technology coincides with states' efforts to outlaw audio/video recording of on-duty police. They've failed so far, but why would such laws even be necessary? From what I've heard, if the cops aren't doing anything wrong they have nothing to worry about.

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38 Responses to “DON'T WORRY!”

  1. The Mad Dreamer Says:

    Off topic, but on a social train of thought, I got married this past Saturday. In keeping with the topic, it is to be hoped that my surname (being brown and all) does not mean my partner will be stopped and frisked more often than otherwise would be the case in the future.

  2. Coises Says:

    Not so sure about all this. Smartphones and other recording devices have a well-known liberal bias.

  3. Middle Seaman Says:

    "Those whom the gods wish to destroy they first make mad." It's not just Bloomberg, it's also the the robber Romney and the moron Obama.

    Is it the war in Iraq?

  4. Asheley Says:

    All potential sarcasm aside (at least from me), before I started serving free coffee to our local police force, this video demonstrates almost every interaction I have EVER HAD with the police. Being from a low-income background it is regular practice for the police to stroll through the neighborhood looking to antagonize and arrest people. I have seen cops threaten to shake-down your house without a warrant, arrest your brother without probable cause and if that didn't provoke you enough, I have seen cops threaten rape your girl in hopes to evoke an aggressive reaction. I have seen this behavior in cities like Cleveland, San Diego, and Seattle. Yes, even the Great White Yuppies of the Pacific Northwest exhibit this behavior among their police force. Many of these officers also have a former military background, and most often, they served in the Marine Corps or in the Army; branches that are notorious for excessive violence.

    Combine that with forces like the urgency to achieve, total respect for authority that can lead to blind obedience, and higher-ups pushing political agendas and viola! Violation after violation of the individual's freedoms, where the individual is too poor to lawyer-up, and with each new arrest spirals further down into the Poverty Rabbit hole from which he or she will probably never return, while the politician who terrorized the individual's life will inevitably leave his or her political career to earn an annual retirement that could be easily 12x that of the impoverished individual. OH and forget any sort of retirement for these folks. Those pesky arrests amounted to a slew of minimum wage jobs, keeping the individual in a perpetual cycle of poverty until the day he or she dies.

    Just ask any of my relatives, maternal or paternal side. In fact, I can give you their phone numbers so they can recount each tale of police harassment and brutality to you.

    More than anything, I'm proud of this 17-year-old kid who had his wits about him to get even by being smart. In addition, high praise these cops who know what the NYPD is doing is morally reprehensible and choose to speak out about it. I have to note, there are many guys on our local police force who are nothing like what is depicted here and have been appalled by the stories I've told them about other officers in the places I've lived.

    Interestingly enough, the officers' expressed an urgency to preform in order make higher quotas to keep their jobs, all-the-while keeping those on the bottom of the ladder down is eerily similar to the corporate business model I experienced working mid-level management at Target. Hey, kids isn't it fun when we apply a business model to social justice and order? Okay, that was sarcasm.

  5. Jesse Says:

    I want to explain the stop and frisk. It came from Terry v. Ohio which was a case where an officer without probable cause stopped 2 men about to rob a Jewelry store.

    Now the judges in the case ruled in favor of the cops but very narrowly. The officer involved had over 30 years of walking this specific beat and knew everyone. He observed over a period of time these men "casing" the jewelry store. He saw them going back and forth and looking around. He also has seen robberies in the past and knew how stores were robbed and that weapons were involved. So when he arrested these men he checked for weapons. The judges saw a benefit to preventing crime before it happened.

    So when they ruled on what is called the Terry Stop they said you have the right to stop someone and question them if you have reasonable suspicion a crime is about to happen. You have the right to pat down the outside of a suspect ONLY to check for what could be a weapon so if you feel something hard, you could articulate it could be a club, a knife, a gun. Then you can reach in for that one item. If you find something soft you keep on going.

    It is important to note the fact you believe a crime is about to happen, and that under observation you can articulate exactly how a crime is about to happen. Seeing people stand on the corner talking as a group for example is not specific enough. The examples in Terry gave were very specific.

    I firmly believe in highly trained Law enforcement, 90% of cops are not properly trained in firearms. Just because a person is a cop does not mean they are qualified to carry a gun any more than a private citizen who practices. There is this fallacy out there that in the academy you are proficient in firearms training. Most local, state, and federal agencies do only 5 days of firearms training and a yearly or semi annually recertification test which is beyond easy. A proper firearms test would be done at the end of a PT test while your still amped up it would cover several shooting scenarios that are timed for speed and accuracy. I have shot with the best of the best in competition and law enforcement and even they make mistakes. I know it seems like I am getting off topic, however it is all back to the same thing this myth that cops are trained properly or given adequate resources and that cops unfortunately are directed by politicians instead of the courts.

  6. Jesse Says:

    By the way WHERE IS AG HOLDERs protest over this case and investigation of what is apparent racism! HOLDER made only a big deal about a challenging case in Florida however has ignored this!

  7. c u n d gulag Says:

    Slightly OT – how I see police from back when I was a kid in the 60's to today.

    Growing up in Queens, NYC, we had the same cops walk the same beat every day/night. This way, they knew the families and the kids, and the families and the kids knew the cops.
    Also, the cops tended to live in, or near, the neighborhood.
    We were seen as being humans by them, and we saw them as being human.

    Then, some geniuses decided to put the cops in cars, (probably to cut the budget) to respond to emergencies – and the cops didn't know anyone in the neighborhoods, and the neighborhoods didn't know the cops.
    And the cop probably didn't live in or near the area he/she was patrolling.
    We were scared of them, they were scared of us.

    And back then, the cop had a billy-club and a gun. He needed help, he went to the call-box on the corner.
    Now, they're armed like Special Forces, and have tons of communications devices.

    Back then, a cop was pretty much on his own, and had to think if a situation was worth a call for help. And there was no point in escalating a situation, since he was the one who was going to have to handle it – or else call for help, and wait until it got there. And who knew how long that would take?

    Now, at the slightest provocation, they flip the phone open, call or press a button, and help is usually there within minutes – if not seconds. And the help that's coming, is armed to the teeth, and looking to crack a few skulls.

    Different approaches to the same problems.

    Of course, back in the 60's not every @$$hole you might run into as a cop was packing a gun. Guns were very, very rare.
    And now, thanks in large parts to the marketing and arm-twisting and bribing of politicians by the NRA, if you're a cop and assume someone ISN'T armed, that may be the last assumption you ever make.

    My solution?
    We need to realize that not every cop's an @$$hole. And they need to realize that not every non-white person is a criminal.

    We need to admit that "The War on Drugs," was stupid, and we lost.
    And we need gun control.

    Legalize drugs to remove the profit motive, sell them like booze, get some common sense gun laws, and we might have a much better relationship with our police.*

    If not, it'll only get worse.

    *And yeah, I know that ain't ever gonna happen!

  8. Major Kong Says:

    But! But! I thought the 2nd Amendment was going to protect me from excessive government?

  9. deep Says:

    c u n d gulag: Of coure back in the day, a cop could just make someone "disappear" and nobody would ever be the wiser.

    I'm sure many more atrocities occurred in the good ol' day simply because the perpetrators could get away with them. I'm sure many neighborhoods were kept "safe" because criminals were killed and dumped in the river.

  10. anotherbozo Says:

    Since I'm a New Yorker, please excuse me from watching the video. Besides, rage tends to give me indigestion so soon after breakfast. We've had two mass demonstrations that I know of, and the policy is still in place. There must be an abbreviation in the works for Congregating While Black. Or Latino. Talk about a blot on our librul city.

    Has there been a test case of cell phone documentation of brutality being challenged by the police, or of camera confiscation being challenged by a citizen? Surely it comes under the umbrella of the first amendment. If money is speech, surely my right to record public actions qualifies too.

  11. c u n d gulag Says:

    deep,
    I'm sure you're right about that.

  12. John Says:

    As the Republican Party is the Party of Freedom™ — We know this because they so frequently remind us of it — I expect them to get right on the case with this!

    *crickets*

    Oh, yeah. I guess that's not the right kind of Freedom™.

  13. bb in GA Says:

    So, when the big wheel spins around we would expect (ideally) that the court system will correct this corruption of Terry v Ohio? Or the legislative branch…nah

    Till then – this sh-ite…

    John – I think you short sell the libertarian right. We don't like this either and will send $ and lawyers (this is crossover territory where we support the ACLU should they show interest)

    Praise be for tech-na-low-gee!

    //bb

  14. bb in GA Says:

    @major

    The 2nd amendment point has yet to be made vis-a-vis the US Government.

    I hope we never need to find out, but we don't know if there is a 'soul of resistance' in the US population. There are over 200E06 firearms in the hands of about 90E06 citizens.

    If push comes to shove the resisters would pay a terrible price from the relatively small but exquisitely armed and equipped establishment forces.. Americans are not Afghanis who have been at this stuff for centuries and we appear to be pretty wussy in comparison.

    I think that is the calculation the elites are making as they ramp up. I think gun confiscation is a lost cause, but the key to damaging citizen firearm ownership is the attempt to control ammo and its raw materials.

    Eventually, limits on ammo purchase, re-loading supplies, and ultimately possession limits will become more common. I think that's the anaconda in the room..

    //bb

  15. MattMinus Says:

    Fuck the "good" cops in that video. " What civilians don't understand is that the police department is forcing us to do these unreasonable stops or we're going to be penalized." Their story basically amounts to " I have to brutalize folks and destroy their lives, or I may be written up and denied promotion opportunities".

    Listen, asshole, you guys are the ones that can "force" people to do things at the point of a gun. The worst the PD can do is fire you. You're doing this because you want to. Don't expect us to try to understand your side of the story.

  16. mothra Says:

    I think that's the anaconda in the room..

    No, the anaconda in the room is drones and their eventual use against American citizens in the United States. Kill any resistance (not that I think lazy, fat and complacent Americans will ever resist) right quick.

  17. Leeanne McManus Says:

    When I first saw this I practically had a ragestroke.
    Seriously, fuck those cops.
    How do they sleep at night?

    One thing that stood out to me is the guy taping HAD JUST BEEN STOPPED TWO BLOCKS BEFORE and repeatedly said so on the tape.
    In what world is that not harassment?

    Technology for the win here. Keep recording, kids.

  18. PB@OC Says:

    Move along folks… Nothin to see here.

  19. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    It seems to me that as long as the "heavy hand of law enforcement" is on "those people" the Right doesn't really care and in many cases will applaud it.

    I seem to recall Pat Buchanan's solution to our inner-city problems was "M-16s".

  20. grumpygradstudent Says:

    I will be showing this during my lecture on urban policing. Great find.

  21. CaptBackslap Says:

    While we're on the topic of not-especially-loving relations with police: everyone with any interest in rap should check out R.A.P. Music by Killer Mike. It's awesome–better than Channel Orange, which was my previous album of the year.

  22. Arslan Says:

    "Look I don't want to shoot civilians, even the Jewish ones. The fact is though, if you don't, the Rottenfuhers or the Obersturmfuhrers get mad at you. You get bad performance evals. Pretty soon you start shooting civilians so they stop riding your ass."

    -Anonymous "good" SS schutze.

  23. bb in GA Says:

    @mothra

    the 'exquisitely armed and equipped' line covers your drone strikes.

    My snake reference was to how the government could put the practical 'squeeze' on the ammo supply.

    @major kong

    I hardly think Mr. Buchanan qualifies as a libertarian thinker.

    //bb

  24. Major Kong Says:

    @bb

    Most conservatives aren't libertarians. Even when they claim to be libertarian it generally doesn't go much beyond "Don't tax me!" and "Let corporations pollute as much as they want".

    A lot of conservatives tend to have a pretty strong authoritarian streak.

  25. bb in GA Says:

    @major kong

    Perhaps I've wandered into 'No True Scotsman' territory, you decide…

    Pat Buchanan: "I am more of a traditionalist conservative than I am a libertarian but I share with Ron Paul the view that America has become an over-extended empire."

    January 16, 2012

    //bb

  26. Major Kong Says:

    Broken clock, twice a day etc. etc.

  27. Major Kong Says:

    I also don't recall ever stating that Pat Buchanan was a libertarian. He's more of a "paleo-con".

    But then, libertarians don't really run anything. There's what, maybe two of them in congress?

  28. PWL Says:

    People need to see this. Then maybe they might remember why we have a Constitution and a Bill of rights. Otherwise, fascism will come to America in the form of "law and order."

  29. JoyfulA Says:

    Mad Dreamer, your partner need not adopt your surname. You can both keep your own names.

  30. Sammy Says:

    Warning: Don't read the comments on the YouTube page. Actually, I need to stop reading comments on ANY YouTube page. It makes me rethink the murder-is-immoral platform I've always adhered to.

  31. Bernard Says:

    libertarianism is just a pale imitation of conservatism. the path to hell is paved with good intentions. so take your libertariansim over to Somalia, where it is proving how well it works.

    the cops know they can do whatever they want and the Right wing will back them up full tilt. the Supremos will make sure of that when it gets the chance or the need arises.

    while there might be a difference between libertarianism, the end of the rope is still the same and once you are dead, that difference is really symbolic. such tripe. gosh and that explains partly why we are at the beginning of our Fascist existence once called America.

    as one who wore a gun, i know the men at the top who push this kind of "control" will never stop. and i mean never. the good "cops" will never do enough to stop the bad ones. to believe otherwise is more Conservative BS. and yes, the Right will buy their own private police force. Privatization is the death knell of any and all "restraint" and or common sense.

    those who think otherwise are part and parcel guilty of such Faith Based murder. which is what this all comes down to eventually. whether of an individual or a society, it all ends in prison or death for those who "disagree." eventually they will come for teh libertarians and i hope i am there to see it. i will chuckle quietly as i spit on their grave.

    evil triumphs when good men do nothing or pretend it won't happen to me or here. idiots one and all

  32. bb in GA Says:

    @bernard

    WTH are you bitchin' about.

    I'm 100% agin' what is going on in the video (remember ? that's why we are here today). I will do my part (whatever it is) while you are spitting on graves and chuckling.

    //bb

  33. The Mad Dreamer Says:

    Joyful, my partner chose to. Liked mine better.

  34. blahedo Says:

    I find this just as outrageous as AZ's "papers please" law, and for most of the same reasons.

  35. patheos.com Says:

    Great article.

  36. anotherbozo Says:

    I just realized I have a connection with the NYC Council office and sent the following email. Susan Kassapian is asssistant to my Councilman (who is also the Speaker). She has helped with relatively petty issues like rats in the park, tree pruning, etc. Let's see if she responds here.

    Dear Ms Kassapian –

    You've provided a link to my councilman and speaker before and I wonder if you could ask if she's seen this video. More importantly, she could make sure Mayor Bloomberg has seen it too.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7rWtDMPaRD8

    One Harlem youth had been stopped so often by abusive police that he secretly taped one incident. The physical abuse, threats, spewed four-letter-words speak for themselves. But the video also interviews responsible police who complain about their orders to "violate someone's rights" but who have had to follow those orders anyway.

    But let the video speak for itself. The whole world is watching it. Plese see that the Speaker and Mayor have, too.

    Thanks,
    …..
    If I hear from her, I'll provide an update, even if it's off topic, in some later commentary.

  37. Bernard Says:

    hey BB, read Gin and Tacos essay about libertarianism. couldn't ever say it as good. lol. the part about flying in an airplane is so apt.

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