Protesters, many from Harlem and Washington Heights, gathered in Union Square yesterday afternoon to demonstrate against police brutality and stop-and-frisk tactics. The October 22 Coalition, which organized the rally, planned events in cities across the country for a national day of protest against “the criminalization of a generation.” Similar protests were scheduled in Austin, Texas; Santa Barbara, Calif. and Seattle.
The crowd carried placards ranging from the humorous “BAD COP = NO DONUT” to the more direct “F–k the Police,” along with flags and paintings of sons and brothers shot by the police. Police estimated the turnout at 80, but The Uptowner counted at least 120 people.
Stop-and-frisk incidents reached a record 680,000 in 2011, up from 97,000 in 2002, though they’re likely to decline this year, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union. It also found that, from 2002 to 2011, blacks and Latinos represented close to 90 percent of people stopped.
In Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood, police made 80,151 stops, according to the New York Civil Liberties Union, representing roughly 1 in 9 people stopped in New York City last year.