Racial Favoritism by the NYPD? New Yorkers Say Yes
A poll released this week by the New York Times reveals that minorities aren’t the only one who feel they are unfairly targeted by police. As a matter of fact, the majority of New Yorkers—black, white, and brown— see the Department’s racially biased practices for what they are.
According to the NY Times, 80 percent of black New Yorkers believe police favor whites over blacks. Forty-eight percent of whites agree.
The belief is as prevalent now as it was more than ten years ago, in 2001 under Mayor Giuliani.
What is the fuel behind this belief? Much of it stems from the much-publicized and criticized stop-and-frisk policies, which allow cops to target individuals under flimsy suspicion that they may be involved in a crime. While the police say the neighborhood or bulky clothing could lead to a stop-and-frisk, too often it seems their justification is little more than skin color.
In the same survey, 48 percent of New Yorkers said the stop-and-frisk policy was acceptable in order to make the city safer. About 45 percent disagreed. And, the majority of those surveyed don’t believe that the practice has lowered crime rates or reduced the use of illegal drugs.
Despite all of this criticism, about 60 percent believe that Mayor Bloomberg and police commissioner Raymond W. Kelly are doing a good job dealing with crime. Even those who themselves believe they had been the target of a racially motivated stop think that Kelly is doing a good job managing the force, 50 percent of them.
Many people see the police targeting minorities more but justify it by saying more crimes are committed by minorities. Even if this is true, it makes you wonder if these New Yorkers have ever stopped to consider that more minorities are being caught doing crimes because they are unfairly targeted and more closely scrutinized, that other crimes are being committed by whites but are more likely to remain undetected.
Overall, 64 percent of New Yorkers recognize the cops favor whites over blacks, though their opinions on that may vary.
According to the Times,
These views, in many cases, appear to have been influenced by personal experience. A third of the New Yorkers surveyed, including 37 percent of black people, said police officers had used insulting language toward them. A fifth of the respondents said they had been stopped by a police officer because of their race or ethnicity, and almost all were black or Hispanic, and more likely to be young and male.
When you are accused of a crime, no matter your race, you have rights and you deserve to have those rights respected and protected. Our criminal defense lawyers may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and your rights. Whether it’s a drug offense or a gun charge, you are innocent until proven guilty.