Here in New York City, “Broken Windows” policing disproportionately targets poor communities of color for low-level offenses. Being arrested or “summonsed” for even minor violations such as riding a bicycle on the sidewalk can have extreme consequences such as loss of scholarships and financial aid, being evicted from public housing, or being fired for missing a day of work. There are other types of abusive policing in NYC such as the broad-based, and unconstitutional surveillance of Muslims. In Ferguson, the U.S. Department of Justice investigation of the local police force discovered what residents already knew — sweeping Civil Rights violations and pervasive racial bias among police. Equally corrosive and abusive police cultures and policies exist in departments across the nation.
In New York City
Between January 2004 and June 2012 the police stopped, questioned or frisked 4.4 million people. 94% of these stops uncovered no crime at all. (NY Times; NYCLU)
· Black & Latino New Yorkers made up almost 9 out of 10 stops. (NYCLU)
· In 2011, stops of young black men (ages 14–24) outnumbered the entire population of young black men in New York City. (NYCLU)
· The police patrol our public schools, where Black & Latino children make up 95% of those arrested. (NYCLU)
In Ferguson, MO, the U.S. Department of Justice found that:
· African Americans experience disparate impact in nearly every aspect of Ferguson’s law enforcement system.
· Despite making up 67% of the population, African Americans accounted for 85% of traffic stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests from 2012 to 2014.
· African Americans have force used against them at disproportionately high rates, accounting for 88% of all cases from 2010 to August 2014 in which an FPD officer reported using force.
Nationally, police violence and the over-incarceration of people of color resembles a “New Jim Crow.”
· Blacks are only 12 percent of the population and 13 percent of drug users, but they constituted almost a third of those arrested in 2010. (CRF)
· An African American male born in 2001 had a 32% chance of going to jail in his lifetime, while a Latino male has a 17% chance, and a white male only 6%. (U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics)
· In the first 6 months of 2012 a Black person was killed by the police or other authorities every 36 hours. (MXGM)
· 46% had no weapon at all at the time. (MXGM)
How can we say that Black & Brown lives matter when we treat them so carelessly? Imprison, kill and humiliate them with such reckless abandon? As Jews we know what it feels like to be treated like this. This Passover, what will you commit to so that no one else has to experience this kind of discrimination?
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