Last year, the NYPD stopped and frisked over half a million people, almost 90% of who were Black and Latino/a and almost 90% of who were found to be doing nothing wrong. The NYPD also killed 21 people, robbed 21 families and communities of cherished members. In the courts, on the steps of City Hall and most importantly, in the streets of our neighborhoods, New Yorkers are standing up to say, “Enough is enough!” However, like their predecessors, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly continue to disregard the overwhelming community outrage at countless incidents of harassment and violence at the hands of the NYPD. The recent uprisings in East Flatbush are a direct result of their failure to acknowledge and rectify the abuse. The on-going indifference by the Mayor and Police Commissioner only fuels tensions, resulting in further erosion of community-police relations and an inherent mistrust of the governing body of the City of New York.
It is impractical to think that New Yorkers will continue to live silently with the daily physical and emotional impact of all forms of police violence – from Stop, Question and Frisk to verbal abuse to unwarranted assaults to unjust killings. As Martin Luther King said, “A riot is the language of the unheard.” We must understand that resistance in many forms is a natural reaction to extreme oppression and is necessary for change.
New Yorkers must also demand accountability from officers who kill and brutalize our loved ones. The millions of tax dollars the City pays to settle police violence civil suits each year do not erase the scars left, nor do they it bring back those unjustly taken from us. Too often, the family members of those whose lives have been lost to the NYPD are re-victimize when the District Attorney’s Office fails to indict or lackadaisically prosecutes their killers. We must understand that police violence is not an issue of a few bad cops, but a systemic problem that is perpetuated by the criminal legal system and some of our elected officials. We must come together to address this problem and we must do it now.
In memory of Kimani “Kiki” Grey and all those who’s lived were stolen by the NYPD, we call on all New Yorkers to stand together to demand justice and police accountability. Please join us! One way to do this is to come out May 10, the Friday before Mothers Day for the Mothers Cry for Justice action at One Police Plaza. (See: http://goo.gl/Q00Me). Please also look out for information from us on how you can support the demand that all charges of the Cop Watchers and community members who were arrested on March 14 be dropped.
Email info [at] justicecommittee.org for more information about how you can get involved!