“Of 374 summonses issued in regard to social distancing, the respondents for 193 of those summonses areblack and the respondents for 111 of those summonses are Hispanic,” and NYPD release said for March 16-May 5. That’s 81 Percent!
These numbers are not reflecting that black and brown people are less likely to social distance —from black men being asked to not where a mask in a store, beaten for not wearing a mask on the street or young mothers being accosted with their child for wearing theirs incorrectly, while white people are gently handed gloves and masks in public parks—what they are reflecting is over policing, disproportionate arrests and straight up brutality, which sadly is nothing new.
In 1964, Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed Stop-and-Frisk, a police state approach to crime-fighting into law, which was quickly adopted by other states.
“The new measure, promptly labeled the stop-and-frisk law, permits a policeman to stop, search and demand identification of ‘any person abroad in public whom he reasonably suspects is committing, has committed or is about to commit a felony.’ - Rockefeller
Then came the Rockefeller Drug Laws — a milestone in America's war on drugs, leading to laws like 3 strikes and your out in states like Alabama for even just a single joint.
Even though in 1977, the state of New York decriminalized cannabis for personal possession, Black people have been arrested at a rate that is eight times of whites and Latino people at five times the rate of whites despite the usage being virtually identical. This number can be as high as 50 times the rate depending on the location.
Officers who catch someone smoking cannabis are legally able to stop-and-frisk and check for open warrants. These arrests have no public safety benefits and create immense damage to the lives impacted that otherwise would have no other contact with the criminal justice system.
When are these excuses for racism going to stop? It’s time to be anything but silent and stand in solidarity for justice.
All love for the people, Danniel