We New Yorkers have read about and witnessed the NYPD’s harsh and abusive tactics in response to the Occupy Wall Street peaceful demonstrations. But for many New Yorkers, these incidents don’t come as a surprise.
Every day, the NYPD engages in biased and bullying practices that harm New York City’s citizens and communities. Young black and brown men stopped and frisked for no apparent reason ; mentally ill and homeless people roughed up and detained for sleeping on a park bench ; LGBT persons harassed as they enter a local community center or gather in a group on a neighborhood street corner ; sex workers arrested for simply carrying condoms, or forced to have sex in return for their release ; street vendors hassled, fined and arrested for violating arbitrarily enforced minor rules .
One characteristic joins the people subjected to these severe practices: they are members of marginalized groups viewed as powerless to oppose police abuse effectively. But the political landscape is changing. The Police Reform Organizing Project is standing up with communities around New York to fight back against the current wasteful, ineffective, unjust, illegal, bullying, homophobic, and racially biased practices of the NYPD.
Join us in urging policymakers to take action to stop harsh police tactics, create an independent agency to monitor police policies and punish abusive conduct, and implement problem solving measures that address economic and social inequities, strengthening communities instead of occupying them.