LGBTQ Youth of Color Organization— FIERCE — Demands Immediate End to the Targeting and Harassment of LGBTQ Youth in the West Village

NYPD's "Quality of Life" Initiative and efforts to "clean up" Christopher Street are NOT SAFE for LGBTQ youth

June 3, 2011


Manny Vaz,

(New York, NY) – Over the past two weeks, LGBTQ youth members of FIERCE and other LGBTQ youth of color have been targeted and harassed by the NYPD 6th Precinct in the West Village and Chelsea as part of a newly launched NYPD “Quality of Life” Initiative. On Tuesday, May 31, two plainclothes Detectives from the 6th Precinct stationed themselves in an unmarked car outside of 147 West 24th Street, the location of FIERCE, the Audre Lorde Project, Queers for Economic Justice, and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project—four community-based organizations working with LGBTQ communities of color, homeless and low-income community members and youth of color. The Detectives proceeded to stop and question FIERCE youth members. They did not have a warrant, but informed FIERCE staff that they had been ordered to question youth entering and exiting the building.

“Our communities often have experiences with the police that end with violence, harassment and discrimination. Knowing this and knowing that the police were profiling LGBTQ youth of color, it was extremely important that we protected the safety of youth members in exiting the building. With the support of ALP, QEJ and SRLP, we were able to safely escort FIERCE youth to the train and to a safer destination,” recapped Krystal Portalatin, FIERCE Associate Director.