Before a police officer can begin his/her career in law enforcement, they are sworn in and take an oath to protect and serve the citizens of the community. How did protecting and serving in New York City turn into targeting Black and Hispanic males, ages 14 to 21? The numbers are unbelievable and unconstitutional. In 2011, the police department reported a record breaking 684,330 stops under “Stop and Frisk.” In the first three months of 2012 alone, 203,500 stops were conducted. More than 75% of the reported stops were against Black and Hispanic males between the ages of 14 to 21 and a majority of those resulted in no violations.
Fed up with the racial profiling, citizens of New York City banded together in 2008 to file a class-action lawsuit against NYC Mayor Bloomberg and the NYC Police Department. Since Bloomberg took office in 2003, stop and frisks in NYC have increased by 600 percent. That trial is now under way and on March 13, 2013 a key witness took the stand. Pedro Serrano, an officer in NYC (Bronx) testified against the “Stop and Frisk,” police quotas and racial profiling. Officer Serrano also testified on behalf of a recording he secretly made against Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack. During this conversation McCormack can be heard telling Officer Serrano to stop “the right people, the right time, the right location.” For clarity Officer Serrano can be heard questioning, “So what am I supposed to do: Stop every Black and Hispanic?” As per the recording, McCormack’s response to this was, “I have no problem telling you this. Male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem [to] tell you this, male Blacks 14 to 21.”
Serrano stated under oath that the reason for the secret recording was due to the fact he had received several unsatisfactory performance reviews for failing to meet his monthly quota which is alleged to be 20 summonses and five stop and frisks. Serrano also testified that since coming forward he fears retaliation will follow from colleagues. Serrano reported finding rodent stickers in and on his locker implying that he is a rat. As a community, we need to support those who have the courage to stand up for our rights. Strength in numbers! What’s Hot In hip Hop will be following this trial and we encourage you to do the same.
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