NYPD cops performing a stop-and-frisk on a student from Harlem were caught on tape calling the 16-year-old a “f**king mutt,” the Huffington Post reports.
The two-minute clip, which was obtained by The Nation, caught three plainclothes officers stopping the teen, named Alvin, because he “kept looking back” at them. When Alvin asked why they stopped him, they did not give him an answer and instead threatened to break his arm and punch him in the face. They also threatened to arrest him.
At one point in the clip, one of the officers tells Alvin they stopped him because he was a “f**king mutt.”
“That’s a law?” Alvin asked. “Being a mutt?”
Alvin said one of the cops grabbed him by his bag and started to push him down on to the ground.
“So I’m going backwards like down the hill and he just kept pushing me, pushing me, it looked like he we was going to hit me. I felt like they was trying to make me resist or fight back,” the teenager said.
Alvin’s experience, unfortunately, is not uncommon. According to The Nation, while Alvin’s recording of the incident — which occurred on June 3, 2011 — is the only known audio of a stop-and-frisk in action, the NYPD performs more than 1,800 of the procedures every day. An analysis by the New York Times found that more than 20 percent of stop-and-frisks involve the use of force.
A bill heading to the City Council this week to have an Inspector General oversee the NYPD encourages those who believe they were racially profiled to file lawsuits. In 2011, 87 percent of the nearly 700,000 people stopped by the NYPD were black or Latino.
In June, the New York Civil Liberties Union created a free smartphone app called “Stop and Frisk Watch” to encourage bystanders to record the incidents and report them.
Spokespersons for the NYPD have said stop-and-frisk is necessary to keep guns off the street and crime down, but NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said:
“This audio confirms what we’ve been hearing from communities of color, again and again. They are repeatedly subjected to abusive and disrespectful treatment at the hands of the NYPD. This explains why so many young people don’t trust the police and won’t help the police. It’s not good for law enforcement and not good for the individuals who face this harassment.”
Lieberman also said, “It’s time for the Mayor and the Police Commissioner to stop trying to scare New Yorkers into accepting this kind of abuse, and to recognize that there is a problem.”
Disclaimer: The video below contains graphic language.