Governor Paterson signed a bill this morning that will implement a critical reform to the NYPD’s stop and frisk policy. The new law prohibits police officers from entering the names and contact information of New Yorkers who are stopped and frisked into its database if they are not found to be in violation of any law. Melissa was invited to speak at the press conference, due to her work on this issue. Streaming video from the event is available here. You can listen to Melissa’s speech at the event below:
El Barrio/East Harlem is one of the most targeted neighborhoods under the stop and frisk policy in the city. At the press conference, Melissa shared an experience she had right outside of our district office with a young man that was stopped, frisked and let go by police.
This new State law will help protect the civil liberties of those who are not found to be in violation of the law at the time of a stop, while advocates and concerned elected officals also look at other potential reforms to reduce the adverse effects of this police practice on individuals and communities. An overwhelming majority of those stopped — at least 80% — are black and Latino and 90% are found to be innocent. Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had opposed the law and asked the Governor to veto it.
Others in attendance at the press conference included the bill’s sponsors, Senator Eric Adams and Assemblyman Hakeen Jeffries, as well as Senator Eric Schneiderman, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Comproller John Liu, Council Members Danny Dromm, Debi Rose and Ydanis Rodriguez, Donna Lieberman of the New York Civil Liberties Union and several others.