Source: NYCLU

Recently, Nina Berman and I talked about Stop & Frisk in New York and the difficulties for photographers to depict the issue. Of course, there is the possibility of citizens documenting Stop & Frisk.

Stop & Frisk is a matrix of interactions (1,800 stops per day) that go on between between NYPD and members of the public … and in almost every case without audio or visual documentation.

Stopped-and-Frisked: ‘For Being a F**king Mutt’ by Erin Schneider and Ross Tuttle for the Nation is one of the best presentations of this controversial recent issue I’ve come across.

Schneider and Tuttle’s video centres around the story of a Harlem teenager named Alvin who secretly recorded NYPD officers during a stop.

In the course of the two-minute recording, the officers give no legally valid reason for the stop, use racially charged language and threaten Alvin with violence. Early in the stop, one of the officers asks, “You want me to smack you?” When Alvin asks why he is being threatened with arrest, the other officer responds, “For being a fucking mutt.” Later in the stop, while holding Alvin’s arm behind his back, the first officer says, “Dude, I’m gonna break your fuckin’ arm, then I’m gonna punch you in the fuckin’ face.”

[…]

Alvin’s treatment at the hands of the officers may be disturbing but it is not uncommon. According to their own stop-and-frisk data, the NYPD stops more than 1,800 New Yorkers a day. A New York Times analysis recently determined that more than 20 percent of those stops involve the use of force. And these are only the numbers that the Department records. Anecdotal evidence suggests both figures are much higher.

The multimedia piece is 13 minutes and worth every moment. Illuminating, shocking and important.

And on the topic of sousveillance, the NYCLU recently released the Stop & Frisk Watch App which allows bystanders to fully document stop-and-frisk encounters and alert community members when a street stop is in progress.

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SEE ALSO

Stop and Frisk: NYC and UK Kids Respond with Cellphone Photography, Artist with Projections

When Police Harassment Comes Knocking

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