Racist Police: New Data Shows NYPD Regularly Targets Black and Latino Youths in NYC Schools

 The NYPD's propensity for targeting black and Latino youths has again been revealed. This time, they are going after kids in schools. 

According to the NYCLU, New York police arrested or ticketed approximately four New York City students every day from July through September -- two-thirds of which was not during the traditional school year, but summer school. Once again for the NYPD, the majority of these students were black and Latino (an incredible 94 percent ), lived in poor neighborhoods (63% in the Bronx and Queens) and were picked-up for minor crimes, like riding a bicycle on the sidewalk. Actually, at 13% of all summonses issued, biking on the sidewalk was the second most commonly issued summons. The most common charge was disorderly conduct.

So, rather than keep kids out of the criminal justice system, schools are using funds to provide students of color their first encounters with police.

"This report provides the first glimpse into what the NYPD is doing in our schools,” said Udi Ofer, NYCLU advocacy director. “Instead of arresting students who need the most help, the Bloomberg administration should redirect resources from police to services that support student achievement. Why are we employing 5,400 police personnel and only 3,000 guidance counselors?”

But the NYPD's over policing of black and Latino youths living in lower-income areas is nothing new.  As the Drug Policy Alliance and Harry Levine, a Sociology professor at Queens College, recently revealed,  86% of New York City marijuana arrestees are Black or Latino, and the majority of them are youths. What's worse, they are criminalized, quite illegally, by the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, used to snag thousands of Black and Latino youths for holding small amounts of marijuana, a crime that is decriminalized in New York. But there is a loophole.  A tiny bit of weed  burning or "in public view" is a more serious crime.  So cops in New york stop-and-frisk kids, tell them to empty their pockets (or do it for them), and then stamp them with a criminal record that will block them from getting student loans, federal housing, and a good job -- all for a decriminalized offense. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at November 29, 2011, 9:42am

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