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This has to be considered nothing less.  If Sgt Stacey Koon and Officer Lawrence Powell could be prosecuted (twice) and eventually convicted 21 years ago for their actions in the police stop of Rodney King - the systematic and deliberate manufacture of MILLIONS of false stops in direct violation of 4th Amendment probable cause protection against "Unreasonable searches and seizures" as well as the 14th Amendments Equal Protection clause, should be treated as an ongoing criminal conspiracy.

There is no longer any question of this as a result of the hidden tape recording made by Officer Pedro Serrano - as if he was trying to catch a mafioso or drug dealer -  as he discussed the way to carry out "Stop and Frisk" with his SUPERVISOR.

Stop “the right people, the right time, the right location,” Deputy Inspector Christopher McCormack is heard saying on the recording.

    “He meant blacks and Hispanics,” Officer Pedro Serrano, who made the secret recording, testified Thursday in Manhattan federal court.

    “So what am I supposed to do: Stop every black and Hispanic?” Serrano was heard saying on the tape, which was recorded last month at the 40th Precinct in the Bronx.[...]

    “I have no problem telling you this,” the inspector said on the tape. “Male blacks. And I told you at roll call, and I have no problem [to] tell you this, male blacks 14 to 21.”

    During cross examination, City lawyer Brenda Cooke got Serrano to admit that McCormack never said he wanted Serrano to stop all blacks and Hispanics.

    “Those specific words, no,” he told her.

There are two amazing stats which have come out in recent weeks as the "Stop and Frisk" trial began this past week.

1) More Black Men between the Ages of 14 and 24 were "Stopped" in 2011 (168,126), than the Entire Population of Black Men within that age range IN THE ENTIRE CITY (158,406), which means that although the Police Defense attorney was able to get Officer Serrano to admit that the Inspector didn't say "All Blacks", pretty much Every young black male - or worse some of them multiple times - in NYC probably has been stopped and nearly all of them illegally, since 98% of the time they weren't armed which was the supposed "justification" for the stop in the first place.

And 2) The Percentage of Stops that actually accomplished their stated goal and found weapons was less than half for young Black suspects (1.8%) as it was for young White suspects (3.8%) in NYC.  So exactly why are Black and Latino Men the recipients of more than 87% of the overall stops in the city?

Wouldn't it make more sense to go fishing for guns - where the weapons are?

The requirement to meet "A Quota" is no excuse for this.  Not even a little bit.

As shown by this discussion of the issue from the Melissa Harris-Perry show it should be a simple to to implemented law enforcement in a way the responds to actual crime, but in NYC it's not.

Here's the MSNBC provided transcript of the discussion:

Melissa: >>> maybe you saw something about this in the paper yesterday, but unless you were in court for the case of floyd versus the city of new york this week, you likely didn't actually hear it. here's the new york police department deputy inspector in the middle of a contentious conversation with the officer who recorded it.

(From Tape)

>> so what am i supposed to do? stop every black and hispanic? i told you that i have to be there. i must be there.

>> again, you're telling me you want to stop everybody. you want to stop all black and hispanic.

>> i'm not going to do that. you want to do that.

>> this is about stopping the right people, the right place. the right location. we had the most problems the most problems were robberies.

>> and who are the people robbing?

>> the problem was male blacks. 14 to 20, 21. that's the roll call.

Melissa: >> the male blocks and their ages. that clip played in the federal district court on thursday would seem to settle the debate for many about whether the controversial nypd's policy of stop, question and frisk is focused more on race than crime and suspicion. here's what some had to say outside of the courtroom.

Jesse Jackson: >> i heard the argument in the courtroom. the new york argument seems to be to justify, not deny. seems to rationalize.

Jonathon Moore (Lead Counsel): >> there's a siege going on in the community of color where is the police have told even if they don't want to and we have officers standing next to me who say they don't want to do that because it's illegal are told they need numbers.

Nicolaus Peart (Plaintiff) : >> the level of uncertainty. not knowing what was happening. being cuffed for the first time. thrown in the back of a police car. i never had that happen to me.

Melissa: >> the legality of what most call stop and is in question. joining me now are new york city councilman jumani williams, vince warren, executive director of the center for constitutional rights who is bringing this lawsuit against the city. documentary film maker Ross Tuttle and college student nicolaus peart who said he was stopped and frisked by the nypd five times. what is at the heart of this case?

Warren: >> this case to end the massive invasion of rights. the stop and frisk policy has been going on for a long time. we're trying to get people to stop them for a particular reason and not on the basis of race and not in such massive numbers.

Melissa: >> so there is the sergeant saying, hey, the people who commit crimes are young black men. i'm trying to stop crime. it's reasonable.

Warren: >> there's nothing reasonable. there's nothing legal about it. unless you assume that every african-american person is suspect.

Melissa: >> just the guys.

Warren: >> yeah, and the police are not stopping anybody -- they're not stopping based on suspicion. the police department constitutionally has to have some reason to be able to do this. and stopping folks because they're black and brown does not pass constitutional muster at all.

Melissa; >> talk to me about what that be constantly frisked is disheartening.

Peart: >> these people are living every day lives and are stopped. the law enforcement who works for the city. it's absurd. and i shouldn't have to worry what a cop is thinking or wonder just because i'm walking outside at night that i'm more likely to be stopped. that shouldn't exist.

Melissa: >> this idea, councilman is part of -- i feel like it's the difference of the experience of being a black american. when you see the police car, you get a sense of anxiety, and not a sense of protect and serve?

Councilman Williams: >> Apparently it doesn't stop. i was arrested trying to get into event. the officer either didn't believe who we were or didn't care. It's 2013. it's also frustrating to me that it seems like things in the 1960s. we're trying to tell people why it's wrong to do things in the community. it's amazing we need this discussion. when it comes to law enforement and stopping crime, the answer has always been stop as many black and latino men as we can. lock up as many young black men as we can. it's never worked. we know what the solutions are. we go back to everyone in the communities are criminals. even though the own statistics show that stop, question, frisk has shown no links between guns found, shootings and murder. they went into a policy driving a wedge into the community. so when you have an incident like Kumani Grey which came up couple of days or a couple of weeks ago in my district, that fury comes up. you cannot condone those with the anger.

Mellisa: >> for folks who don't know, tell us about that story.

Williams: >> Kumani Gray was is a 16-year-old who was shot and killed on March 9th by officers who is said he had a gun. they made a lot of statements without a full investigation. but this is not about the details of one particular shooting. not that  long ago, another woman was shot and killed. stop, question and frisk. mayor bloomberg and commissioner kelly have stopped 5 million people in the past decade and have shown no correlation. as a matter of fact, the murders were downs and stops were down. there's no correlation whatsoever with the policy.

Melissa: >> you bring up the point of optics. seeing reverend jackson on the doorsteps talking about police misconduct in black communities does feel like, excuse me, what decade are we in? how do we begin to move past what seems to be now a decades long problem of this relationship between police and communities of color?

Warren: >> you talk about optics and yeah, it's perception. they say this is an effective crime fighting tool. when you look at how you're alienating an entire community. there's maybe a gray area. people are not going to accept that. they're not going to wait for the verdict because of this experience. and this is continuing over and over again because of the unnecessary nature of the stops. just based on the research that i've done and the officers that i've spoken to and they're told to go out and do the stops. if they don't, they're under threat in several ways.

Melissa: >> before we go to break, a lot of times the officers have a sense of discomfort. This policy is occuring at a very high level.

Warren: >> absolutely. i've spoken the to numerous officers. they do articulate that. a high level of discomfort with this. <>a lot of them are afraid to come forward and do anything. when they do, they are retaliated against. they are fearful. other officers speak to me in the shadows afraid to come forward but express extreme discomfort. they don't know what to do about it. they come to me, which is crazy, but there's nothing they can do to solve the problem. this is an upsetting situation.

Melissa: >> this is bad. this is a case in new york, but this is not an exclusively new york problem, when we come back.

So the situation is that the Mayor, the Police Commission and his Senior Staff has imposed a "Stop Quota" throughout the department that is forcing officers to Stop, Question and Frisk - Millions - of innocent people.  And then they wonder why when they actually need the trust and support of people in the community, they don't get it.


Here's the next section from Melissa's Show which features a Police Officer - disguised and HIDDEN IN SHADOW as if he were being held in Witness Protection - revealing that having to meet the Stop Quotas makes them feeling like a Fireman who has to START FIRES just to be able  to meet his Fire Fighting Quota!

Take a second and wrap your mind around that one.

The long term result of this is that the Police, rather than being the protection for these communities against legitimate crime - become the Shock Troops Enforcing a Siege on the People.  It doesn't matter if you're guilty or innocent - if you're young, black and male You are a Target.  

And once you're targeted, just making the wrong move - or the wrong statement during a stop like this can End Your Life. Just like it did for Kumani Grey. And Patrick Dorismond.  And Amadou Diallo. And National Guardsman Noel Polanco. And 18-year-old Remarley Graham - who was shot in his bathroom.

Police claimed they were in "hot pursuit" of Graham and that he had a weapon, but surveillance video shows that Graham walked calmly into his home just before police arrived coming from the opposite direction.

Attoneys for the Graham family argue that an additional tape held by NYPD shows the white shirted person whom they were actually chasing and subsequently escaped as a result of unwarranted police focus on Graham.

This of course highlights yet another problem with a policy that targets people based on what they look like rather than what they do, not only are innocent people harmed - the guilty people GET AWAY.

Now the people of the community have two dangerous threats to battle against, the bad guys that the police incompetently fail to correctly identify and catch as well as The Police Themselves.


Originally posted to Vyan on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 07:49 AM PDT.

Also republished by Police Accountability Group and Barriers and Bridges.

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